Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War (Broadway Legacies)

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When the unknown composer Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) arrived in New York, he teamed up with three other brilliant twentysomethings: Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. By the end of the 1940s, they were world famous. This biography charts Bernstein's successes in 1944 with the Broadway musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free, and the attempts of these four visionary artists to break down the barriers between classical and popular music and promote a liberal political worldview.

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About the Author:


Carol J. Oja is William Powell Mason Professor of Music and American Studies at Harvard University. She is author of Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s (2000), winner of the Irving Lowens Book Award from the Society for American Music.

Review:


Winner of the 2015 Music in American Culture Award from the American Musicological Society

"Oja (Harvard) gives a full history of the musical, from its source in the Jerome Robbins/Bernstein ballet Fancy Free and the cabaret skits of the Revuers, a group led by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Oja covers the Broadway and road engagements, revivals, and the film version. Recommended." --Choice


"Carol Oja has given us a vivid portrait of four superbly talented young artists trying not only to create an exciting work for the musical theater but, while they were at it, using their art to 'help make a better world'. A valuable and illuminating book." --Sheldon Harnick


"This adventurously conceived, meticulously researched, elegantly argued book offers a completely new perspective on Bernstein's remarkable artistic partnerships as meetings of extraordinary creativity, progressive politics, and spirited determination. Lavishly illustrated and engagingly written, this is American musical theatre history at its very best." --Stacy Wolf, Professor of Theater, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University and author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical (2011)


"Carol J. Oja is an established and important scholar, and Bernstein Meets Broadway reflects her characteristic thoroughness, insight, and clear writing. On the Town is a groundbreaking show obviously worthy of this excellent book-length study." --Larry Starr, Ruth Sutton Waters Endowed Professor, University of Washington


"Bernstein Meets Broadway is an outstanding exemplar of integrated humanistic arts scholarship. Grounded in exhaustive archival research, it offers bracing new insights on an important stage work and its creators. It's also liberal in the best traditional sense of the term: tolerant and generous and questioning, skeptical of conventional wisdom and ideological platitudes." --Jeffrey Magee, author of Irving Berlin's Musical Theater


"This is a book full of the rare joy of artistic creation and collaboration. In recounting the making of On the Town Carol Oja weaves wartime history, social mores, gender, racial politics, dance, comedy and music into a fascinating and immensely entertaining narrative that percolates with the brashness and brilliance of the show's creators, Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adoph Green. 'We were all 25 years old,' Bernstein later said about it, 'we were nothing but energy then.'" -- John Adams, composer


"Throughout this book Oja demonstrates clarity of thought, precision of enquiry and meticulous research."--Studies in Theatre and Performance


"An expert synthesis of traditionally disparate musicological frameworks. Her text is at once a superlative narrative-one that weaves together the untold stories and broad cultural contexts of a seminal work of American musical theatre, On the Town, and its antecedent, the ballet, Fancy Free-and a thoroughgoing analytical study in American history, informed by extensive ethnography, archival research, and the author's keen music-theoretical sensibility."--American Music Review


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9780190467586: Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War (Broadway Legacies)

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A super-star of 20th-century music, Leonard Bernstein is famous for his multi-faceted artistic brilliance. Best-known on Broadway for West Side Story, a tale of immigrant struggles and urban gang warfare, Bernstein thrived within the theater s collaborative artistic environments, and he forged a life-long commitment to advancing social justice. In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author Carol J. Oja explores a youthful Bernstein-a twenty-something composer who was emerging in New York City during World War II. Devising an innovative framework, Oja constructs a wide-ranging cultural history that illuminates how Bernstein and his friends violated artistic and political boundaries to produce imaginative artistic results. At the core of her story are the Broadway musical On the Town, the ballet Fancy Free, and a nightclub act called The Revuers. A brilliant group of collaborators joins Bernstein at center-stage, including the choreographer Jerome Robbins and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. With the zeal of youth, they infused their art with progressive political ideals. On the Town focused on sailors enjoying a day of shore leave, and it featured a mixed-race cast, contributing an important chapter to the desegregation of American performance. It projected an equitable inter-racial vision in an era when racial segregation was being enforced contentiously in the U.S. military. The show starred the dancer Sono Osato, even as her father was interned together with so many Japanese Americans. Fancy Free amiably encoded its own dissenting narratives. Based on a controversial painting by Paul Cadmus, it grew out of a complex web of gay relationships. Rather than chronicling art within like-minded categories, Oja instead explores cross-fertilizations across art forms and high-low divides. She draws on intensive archival research, FBI files, interviews with surviving cast members, and previously untapped criticism in African American newspapers and entertainment-trade journals to shape a compelling story of artistic crossover and wartime exigencies. Seller Inventory # POW9780199862092

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Book Description Oxford UP, 2014. Condition: New. When the unknown composer Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) arrived in New York, he teamed up with three other brilliant twentysomethings: Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. By the end of the 1940s, they were world famous. This biography charts Bernstein's successes in 1944 with the Broadway musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free, and the attempts of these four visionary artists to break down the barriers between classical and popular music and promote a liberal political worldview. Seller Inventory # 225179

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A super-star of 20th-century music, Leonard Bernstein is famous for his multi-faceted artistic brilliance. Best-known on Broadway for West Side Story, a tale of immigrant struggles and urban gang warfare, Bernstein thrived within the theater s collaborative artistic environments, and he forged a life-long commitment to advancing social justice. In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author Carol J. Oja explores a youthful Bernstein-a twenty-something composer who was emerging in New York City during World War II. Devising an innovative framework, Oja constructs a wide-ranging cultural history that illuminates how Bernstein and his friends violated artistic and political boundaries to produce imaginative artistic results. At the core of her story are the Broadway musical On the Town, the ballet Fancy Free, and a nightclub act called The Revuers. A brilliant group of collaborators joins Bernstein at center-stage, including the choreographer Jerome Robbins and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. With the zeal of youth, they infused their art with progressive political ideals. On the Town focused on sailors enjoying a day of shore leave, and it featured a mixed-race cast, contributing an important chapter to the desegregation of American performance. It projected an equitable inter-racial vision in an era when racial segregation was being enforced contentiously in the U.S. military. The show starred the dancer Sono Osato, even as her father was interned together with so many Japanese Americans. Fancy Free amiably encoded its own dissenting narratives. Based on a controversial painting by Paul Cadmus, it grew out of a complex web of gay relationships. Rather than chronicling art within like-minded categories, Oja instead explores cross-fertilizations across art forms and high-low divides. She draws on intensive archival research, FBI files, interviews with surviving cast members, and previously untapped criticism in African American newspapers and entertainment-trade journals to shape a compelling story of artistic crossover and wartime exigencies. Seller Inventory # POW9780199862092

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. A super-star of 20th-century music, Leonard Bernstein is famous for his multi-faceted artistic brilliance. Best-known on Broadway for West Side Story, a tale of immigrant struggles and urban gang warfare, Bernstein thrived within the theater s collaborative artistic environments, and he forged a life-long commitment to advancing social justice. In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author Carol J. Oja explores a youthful Bernstein-a twenty-something composer who was emerging in New York City during World War II. Devising an innovative framework, Oja constructs a wide-ranging cultural history that illuminates how Bernstein and his friends violated artistic and political boundaries to produce imaginative artistic results. At the core of her story are the Broadway musical On the Town, the ballet Fancy Free, and a nightclub act called The Revuers. A brilliant group of collaborators joins Bernstein at center-stage, including the choreographer Jerome Robbins and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. With the zeal of youth, they infused their art with progressive political ideals. On the Town focused on sailors enjoying a day of shore leave, and it featured a mixed-race cast, contributing an important chapter to the desegregation of American performance. It projected an equitable inter-racial vision in an era when racial segregation was being enforced contentiously in the U.S. military. The show starred the dancer Sono Osato, even as her father was interned together with so many Japanese Americans. Fancy Free amiably encoded its own dissenting narratives. Based on a controversial painting by Paul Cadmus, it grew out of a complex web of gay relationships. Rather than chronicling art within like-minded categories, Oja instead explores cross-fertilizations across art forms and high-low divides. She draws on intensive archival research, FBI files, interviews with surviving cast members, and previously untapped criticism in African American newspapers and entertainment-trade journals to shape a compelling story of artistic crossover and wartime exigencies. Seller Inventory # BZE9780199862092

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