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Enchanted EveningsThe Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim$
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Geoffrey Block

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167306

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167306.001.0001

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Introduction: Setting the Stage

Introduction: Setting the Stage

(p.3) Chapter One Introduction: Setting the Stage
Enchanted Evenings

Geoffrey Block

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter sets out the focus of this book, namely fourteen “book” musicals that premiered on Broadway between the late 1920s and the late 1950s, beginning with Show Boat (1927) and ending with West Side Story (1957). The book offers biographical profiles of the composers, lyricists, librettists, and other key players in order to place their careers in the context of a particular musical, critical and analytical concerns receive primary attention. Two issues in particular emerge as central themes and occur repeatedly throughout the book: the tension between two ideological approaches—song and dance versus integrated—to the Broadway musical, and the alleged conflict between temporal popularity and lasting value and the selling out, again alleged, not of tickets but of artistic integrity.

Keywords:   Broadway musicals, song, dance, temporal popularity, artistic integrity

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