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Anything GoesA History of American Musical Theatre$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199892839

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199892839.001.0001

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(p.247) Chapter 16 Devolution
Anything Goes

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Broadway's obsession with revivals, which began in the 1970s. Some were at least relatively faithful to the original work while others were heavily rewritten, in a form termed the “revisal.” Yet all revivals essentially admit that worthy new work has become so hard to find—or hard to sell to the public—that, to keep theatres open, old standbys must be refitted, one way or another. Most of the classics, at least, remained unscathed, such as Gypsy, Porgy and Bess, Fiddler on the Roof, and The King and I. But perhaps the worst aspect of Broadway's attempt to revive bygone art amid a shortage of new work was the staging of movie musicals.

Keywords:   musicals, musical theater, revivals, movie musicals

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