Denny Martin Flinn Musical!: A Grand Tour

ISBN 13: 9780028646107

Musical!: A Grand Tour

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9780028646107: Musical!: A Grand Tour

MUSICAL! is a complete narrative history of the musical theater in the United States from the 19th century to the present day. Engaging, witty, and opinionated, this is a history that successfully navigates the course between academic lecture and entertaining survey.

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Review:

Many histories of Broadway musicals are on the shelves, most of them taking the predictable path of chronological order, or by composer. Denny Martin Flynn's history follows a rough chronology, but instead examines the development of musicals in chapters divided by dominant personality ("Jerome Robbins and Oklahoma!"), by discipline ("Lyrics," "Bookwriters"), or by genre ("Revues," "The Rock Musical"). Though oddly apocalyptic toward the end, given the recent vitality of musicals, the book offers a useful, fresh perspective on the 20th-century history of a magical art form.

From Library Journal:

In the world of musical theater, everyone has an opinion, although few have expressed theirs as cogently and sharply as Flinn, author of the excellent What They Did for Love (LJ 6/15/89). The 26 chapters he presents here cover all aspects of the genre, from classical Greek performances to the present, without spending too much time on any one period. Students will find the general overviews useful, but the real audience for this marvelous book is the musical fan, who will adore Flinn's wealth of solid examples, particularly in the chapters on music and lyrics. How could one not like a book that unequivocally states that Lloyd Webber "has created scarce melodies for abysmal librettos and expensive, dismally choreographed extravaganzas"? Ganzl continues to churn out genre histories (Ganzl's Book of the Musical Theater, LJ 4/15/88; Ganzl's Book of the Broadway Musical, LJ 9/1/95), but there is still much to recommend this latest translation. Although he lacks Flinn's bite, Ganzl succinctly covers the same period in greater detail, with cast listings, plot summaries, and song information for select representative works throughout the years. The first third of this work, covering the premodern era, will be especially useful for theater students, but it is the latter sections that offer numerous surprises. How many serious theater works include data on The Rocky Horror Picture Show? Thanks to its wealth of trivia and sharp perspective, Flinn's is the superior work and is highly recommended for all theater collections; large subject collections will also want to add Ganzl's latest.?Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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