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The Broadway Musical: Collaboration in Commerce and Art

Rosenberg, Bernard; Harburg, Ernest

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ISBN 10: 0814774334 / ISBN 13: 9780814774335
Published by New York Univ Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A., 1993
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Renaissanceman Books (Albany, NY, U.S.A.)

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Broadway Musicals History. New Book in giftable condition. Tight and unread. Number line complete. Heavy book may require extra postage out of U.S. Please inquire and I'll go to post office. Bookseller Inventory # 000639

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Broadway Musical: Collaboration in ...

Publisher: New York Univ Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

Three out of four Broadway-bound musicals fail to get there, and many of those that do, ultimately fail. The Broadway Musical takes an engrossing look at the industry's successes and failures in an effort to understand the phenomenon of mass collaboration that is Broadway.
The authors investigate the complicated machinery of show business from its birth around the turn of the century through its survival of the cost explosions of the 1980s. Through interviews with many of Broadway's top producers, directors, designers, actors, songwriters, lyricists, librettists, musicians, and other artists, they lead us on an intimate tour of the creative process. They also explore the roles of top executives and the reactions of critics and audiences. They conclude with a fascinating look at the inherent conflicts and tensions that have resulted in some of the most seamless and best-loved productions on Broadway.
Fans of the genre as well as scholars and students of American culture will delight in this revealing insider's look at the scenes behind the scenes and the history of one of America's most popular forms of entertainment.

The effort that goes into making a Broadway musical is enormous, first requiring the enthusiasm of a group of initial creative artists and then the cooperation of hundreds of talented individuals and the investment of millions of dollars before each show is ready to open. Each venture is marked perhaps more by conflict than collaboration, and the continuation of the industry seems more remarkable when it is revealed that three out of four Broadway musicals fail to break even on Broadway.
What goes into the making of a successful musical? No venture can be a success without good collaboration, but whether it is good or bad in any specific case cannot be known beforehand. The Broadway Musical is an investigation into this phenomenon of collaboration and its seeming unpredictability. To gather information, Bernard Rosenberg and Ernest Harburg have interviewed many of the top producers, directors, designers, players, songwriters, lyricists, librettists, and other artists that are responsible for today's Broadway musicals. Starting with the development of the industry itself, the authors investigate the complicated machinery of show business and detail how it was able to survive the rapidly rising costs of productions in the 1980s. Proceeding to the creative aspects of the show, the authors provide an intimate look at the assembling of the musical at every level, detailing the workings of the top executives, musicians, songwriters, techne, the reaction of the critics and the audience. The book concludes with a lengthy look at the phenomenon of collaboration itself, describing the inherent conflict and tension that often adds to the production of a Broadway musical.
The Broadway Musical is an engrossing look at the successes and failures of this most elaborate form of live entertainment.

From the Back Cover:

"The Broadway musical...a magic phrase", Leonard Bernstein once said. Indeed, musical theater is one of America's major contributions to world culture. Yet, throughout this century three out of four Broadway-bound musicals have not succeeded economically. The Broadway Musical takes an engrossing look at the industry's commercial and artistic successes and failures in an effort to understand the group collaboration that is required to create Broadway musicals. The authors investigate the complicated machinery of Broadway musical show business and artistic development from the birth of the form around the turn of the century through its survival amidst the cost explosions of the 1980s. Through interviews with dozens of Broadway's top producers, directors, designers, actors, composers, lyricists, bookwriters, conductors, arrangers, and other artists, they lead us on an intimate tour of the creative process. Included are such well-known musical theater figures as Harold Prince, Arthur Laurents, Michael Bennett, Sheldon Harnick, Claire Nichtern, Tommy Tune, Burton Lane, Carol Hall, Frank Rich, and Gerald Schoenfeld. They explore the roles of producers, directors, lyricists, composers, and bookwriters in creating musical plays and the reactions of critic and audience. They conclude with a fascinating look at the inherent conflicts and tensions as well as the creative resolutions that shaped some of the best-known musicals of our time. Fans of the genre as well as scholars and students of American culture will delight in this revealing insider's look at the collaborative process in Broadway musicals and the recent history of one of America's most popular and indigenous entertainment forms, nowrecognized worldwide - the American musical.

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