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Survey Of Musical Theatre Notes Test 4 (1970s) week 1 and 2

by: Shelby Harris

Survey Of Musical Theatre Notes Test 4 (1970s) week 1 and 2 THEA 11013

Marketplace > Texas Christian University > Theatre > THEA 11013 > Survey Of Musical Theatre Notes Test 4 1970s week 1 and 2
Shelby Harris

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These notes cover the first and second week of material on the fourth exam.
Survey Of Musical Theatre
Dr. Michael James
Class Notes
Survey, Of, musical, theatre, exam, 4, test, notes, 1970s, broadway, sondheim, 1980s
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This 19 page Class Notes was uploaded by Shelby Harris on Sunday March 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to THEA 11013 at Texas Christian University taught by Dr. Michael James in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 34 views. For similar materials see Survey Of Musical Theatre in Theatre at Texas Christian University.


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Date Created: 03/27/16
1970s Musicals 03/18/2016 ▯ The Street ▯ 1970s Broadway  Capitalization reaches $1 million/show by the end of the decade  Ticket prices continue to rise  Attendance continues to drop  Number of flops increases o but there will be more memorable shows- mostly short-lived  times Square- ranked first in total felony complaints  between 1969-1971: 40% drop in Tourism  “two things are absolutely certain: the speed of light and the imminent death of the New York Theatre”  Monday night performances exchanged for Wednesday matinee  Day-of-show discount tickets  All Broadway box offices started taking credit cards  Move curtain call from 8:30 to 7:30 o so people could get out earlier and get home safely  1968- Theatre development fund founded to help save broadway theatre ▯ Duffy Square  Opens 1973  Tkts  Major tourist attraction now ▯ 1970s- Decade of:  rock musicals (some good- mostly bad- Hair’s success was unique)  Return of Successful Black musicals- soul, R&B, and gospel  Revivals0 and more revivals  Concept musicals- the age of Sondheim  Faint beginning of the British Invasion ▯ Taxi Driver  1976 ▯ The Me nobody knows  Gave voice to sentiments of ghetto youth  No plot  Real stories taken from writings of 200 NYC kids ages 7 to 18  Praised for its candidness on drugs, poverty, oppression, rat- infested tenements and being raw and tough ▯ Two Gentlemen of Verona  1971  Same composer as Hair  Tony- best musical  Rock music  Only 614 performances ▯ Grease  1972  Topples hello, dolly and fiddler on the roof  Longest running record for 7 years  3,388 performances  Original very raw and raunchy  Revivals sanitized ▯ Dude  1972  Flops  Musical and lyrics by same team as hair  Good v. evil- a circus in a primeval forest  Floor covered in dirt  Lost $1 million ▯ Via galactica  Original title- up!  Hair composer  Outcasts living on asteroid  8 performances  Lost $1 million  Entire show done on trampolines ▯ Rockaby Hamlet ▯ The Lieutenant  1975  7 performances  About the massacre of Vietnamese citizens ▯ ▯ ▯ Successful black musicals “Purlie”  1970  New fangled preacher man  Heavy gospel music influence  That influence pervades Broadway today Raisin  1973  Tony- best musical  Faithful adaptation of A raisin in the sun o True-ish story  Chicago 1951- family trying to step up in the world  “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?” ▯ “Don’t bother me, I can’t cope”  1972  Good humored look at social problems blacks faced in 70s  Mixed gospel, rock, calypso, and folk music  Ran 2.5 years ▯ “The wiz”  1975  All black version of wizard of  “Ease on down the road”  Closing notice posted opening night  Saved by 20 century fox o Audience members  Great reviews and word of mouth  Ran for 4 years- 1,675  Aired live on NBC last December  Revival 2017 ▯ “Ain’t misbehavin’”  Wins best musical  1978  Ran 4 years  Jukebox musical- no plot!  Theme- tribute to black musicians of 20s and 30s  Flavor of Harlem nightclub ▯ 1970s = Age of Sondheim  “…the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the musical theatre.”  Shows: o The frogs o A funny thing o Passion o Assassins  Dark themes  Everyone was in awe of him  Criticism o Lyrics too intellectual o Music too difficult o Characters too unpleasant o Worldview too cynical o Relationships (especially marriage) never last o Shows always lose $$ on Broadway  Only one made money  Wrote lyrics to west side story and gypsy  A funny thing happened on the way to the forum o First hit as both composer and lyricist o Based on the 21 extant plays of Roman comedy playwright Plautus o Title derived from old vaudeville setup to a joke o First of only 2 comedies ▯ Sondheim and prince  Most influential daring team of 1970s Broadway  Began with company  6 shows together ▯ Harold Prince  63 bdwy shows directed and/or produced  Directed the Phantom of the Opera o Longest running musical o British Company  1970  Groundbreaking  Truth of life and sex in 1970s  Series of short stories not meant to go together  Intellectual  Adult & pessimistic  Audience forced to face ugly reality of real, everyday life  Unhappy marriage/relationships  Characters more important than plot  There is no plot only theme  No resolved ending  Set/story/costuming all confused audiences  Music- dense, restless, and difficult  A metaphysical birthday party  Was there really a party  Or bobby imagining IF  Robert (bobby) connects the story  Inside his memories reflecting back on his life?  Expression of turmoil  Psychologically asking self, “why am I like I am?”  Characters do/don’t know one another  Reframed the narrative o Characters can appear, speak, and sing together  But in different places and/or act like the others aren’t there ▯ Concept musical  Nontraditional stagecraft: o Scenic design  Scenes don’t necessarily change o Odd costuming  As much importance on unique manner of presentation as on content o Overture-5 minutes in o Often no allowance for applause  Played with time and place  Deconstructed script- non-linear vignettes  More about a situation or idea than a plot  Character study  Restless- prompts you to ask questions ▯ What were Sondheim’s first two shows? ▯ ▯ British Invasion of Broadway ▯ Tim Rice and Andrew Loyd Webber ▯ Joseph  First Rice/Webber collaboration  Based on the story of Joseph from Book of Genesis  Started as a 15 minute pop cantata for a British prep school  Then became a concept album  Many revisions- won’t make it to BDWY til ‘82  Pop opera o Entire story is told through music- little to no dialogue  Rock, country, vaudeville, calypso, and French ballad Jesus Christ Superstar  1971  began as a concept album with full score  led way for British invasion  rock opera  controversial reactions worldwide o some theatres torched  album reached #1 on Billboard chart  music played in discos  initially banned by BBC for being sacrilegious  ran 8 years in London  Less than 2 years in NYC o Most shows last longer in UK than in USA  About the last 7 days of Christ  Meant to make you walk away with questions  1971-711 performances  2012- only 116 performances  2014 tour cancelled ▯ Pippin  1972  bob fosse- director/choreographer  magic show with Commedia dell’arte (masked) concept  The “leading player”=half god, half devil  King Charlemagne’s son is Pippin  Search for his place in the world  First BDWY musical to air TV commercial o Fosse’s idea  Changed marketing of Bdwy forever  Light Curtain- o Bob fosse’s idea o Floating hands  Music and lyrics: Stephen Schwartz o Wrote Godspell & wicked o Began as a student project when scwartze was in college o Schwartz wanted a circus theme o Fosse refused  41 years later Schwartz gets his way o heaviness is gone o wins a tony for best revival ▯ Shenandoa  1975  opens same year Vietnam war ends  antiwar theme- civil war  most untypical country music score  ran 2 years ▯ A chorus Line  1975  Over 6,000 performances  Ran 15 years th  5 musical to win Pulitzer prize  Michael Bennett- director/choreographer  Non-linear series of vignettes  Stories of REAL dancers’ lives  Success helps save BDWY!  Recorded 52 gypsies’ lives (bdwy dancers)  30 hours of recorded material turned into 2 hours of musical  Work shopped 1 ½ years o there was no written show- they made it up as they went to create an actual show o worked for $100/week  Professional gypsies at an audition- bare stage  Pulitzer- artistic struggle & drive  Triumph to egomania “me, me, me “baby boomer generation  All about being “on the line”  Underscoring stops only 2 times in entire show  Within 4 years in: Toronto, san Francisco, LA, Sydney, Mexico etc  While still running in NYC  September 28, 1983 o Passed fiddler on the roof as longest running musical o Bennett reunited 300+ dancers from Broadway and National and international touring companies o Stage had to be reconstructed  Revived 2006 but only 2 years ▯ Chicago  1975  Kander & ebb (cabaret)  Gwen Verdon (her final role), Chita Rivera & jerry orbach  Fosse- director/choreographer o “make love to the audience”  Murder, corruption & huckerstering  Took 13 years for gwen to get the rights to this play  A “musical vaudeville” o Stylistically, staging, and musical numbers  Jumped ticket price to $17.50  Had been $!5 since zorba in 1968  Original- only 2 years0 898 performances  Revived- 19.5 years- 8,035 perf  Defies odds or revivals- uses revolving door of “B” stars o Has new famous people take on lead roles ▯ Godspell  1976  means “good word”  series of biblical parables from Gospel of Matthew  director’s dream  misconception of “hippie” garb  medieval- feast of fools: festivity and fantasy  burlesque of Christian morality and worship  Envisioning radically alternative life situations  Began as a grad school thesis  Then to off-off broadway to off-broadway to broadway  Off-off: ran for three months  Off-broadway- 2,124 performances  Broadway- only 527 performrnces  2011 revival  cast use their own names  though we know the characters Judas and Jesus  Intermission-cast mingled with audience sharing bread and wine  Modern music set primarilyu to lyrics from traditional hymns  One song “day by day” hit billboard charts for 14 weeks  Many references in pop culture o King of the hill o Meet the parents o Wet hot American summer ▯ Little Orphan Annie  Comic strip ran for 86 years  Earlier comic strip musicals o Superman o Doonesbury o Charlie brown ▯ Annie  Numerous references to the musical in pop culture  Twice parodied in family guy  NCIS and South Park, NFL network  “Tomorrow” most often parodied 1970s- age of Sondheim ▯ follies  1971  reunion of performers and show girls in crumbling bdwy theatre  look back on youth (ghosts)  Like company- about jaded, ambivalent, unhappy characters o Brought together by a party  Revived in 2011  $5.5 million capital investment  total tickets grossed $19.6 million  $600,000 weekiy running costs (paying everyone)  ran over just 5 ½ months  running costs 16.8 million  total costs 22.3 million  loss of 2.8 million ▯ A little night music  1973  only Sondheim musical to make back investment o both original and revival  operetta  now part of many opera company repertoires  sondheim’s best known song: o “Send in the Clowns” o billboard charts three times o covered by frank Sinatra, judy Collins, and Barbara Streisand  made into film 1978 o starring Elizabeth taylor ▯ Pacific overtures  1976  all-male Asian kabuki cast  faithful recreation of oriental music  financial flop- 193 performances ▯ Sweeney todd  1979  Demon barbor of fleet street  Most grisly musical ever presented for commercial Bdwy  Cannibalism  Got from the feind of fleet street  Done in the style of “gran guingnol” o Giant puppets o Slasher films on stage o Specialized in naturalistic horror shows  2005 revival o cast was also the orchestra  johnny depp movie  the office The Best Little whorehouse in Texas  1978  based on the chicken ranch o la grange, TX  during the great depression, patrons paid with poultry  shut down by a vigilante radio commentator of Houston ▯ Evita  1979  british invasion  webber and Rice  another pop Opera- told entirely thru song and dance  like JC superstar- started as ??? album  about eva Duarte o most powerful woman in south America o Juan Peron was her husband o Generous with the people of her country o Juan preserved her body to spend time with her o Her body was stolen & found in Europe  Character: che guevera  Hit in London! (2,900 performances)  Enormous US advance sales  Ran nearly 4 years in USA  Role of EVA so vocally demanding o On broadway- six actresses rotated in the role  AEA’s first trouble with British imports o Came over with entirely british casts  2012 revival  “don’t cry for me argentina” most popular song ▯ I <3 New York  Campaign introduced in 1977  Broadway ticket sales DOUBLED the first year  Broadway revived the campaign after 9/11  Used actual Broadway stars and Broadway shows ▯ ▯ 1980s broadway  top ticket price goes to $30 and will continue to rise to $55  revivals  3 categories omitted in 1985 o everything was bad  Broadway was “smaller”  Only 35- 38 new shows/year  Only 6-7 were musicals  Shows losing multi-millions  Lack of Humor- still  BIG flops continue –due to rising costs  Rely on regional theatres as spawning ground for new works o 76 across the country o it is cheaper to try shows out in these cities ▯ 42 ndStreet  1980  David Merrick musical  Only American musical to play over 3,500 performances for the next 22 years o British invasion musicals will dominate  $3 million to produce  top ticket- $30  merrick’s first hit in 10 years  based on movie musical- a trend begins  merrick bought out investors  merrick’s last big success  passed away in 2000  eraned $500,000 /week ▯


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