Musical theatre is able to address important and controversial topics such as racism, women’s rights, and violence in an entertaining and fresh way. Audiences can relate to characters who embody American life and values. American musical theatre positively affected and reflected the culture of 20th century America by addressing the social issues of each generation. One of the most pivotal musicals of the 20th century was Show Boat which helped make theatre what it is today. Show Boat, composed by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, opened December 27, 1927, and was the first musical to be based off of a novel (Show Boat Introduces American Musical Theater).
He produced his first play when he was only twenty years old and his next two plays followed right after.With every new play, he became more famous and Rostand’s name began to attract distinguished actors and actresses to star in his productions.In 1897, Rostand produced Cyrano de Bergerac. The play was a huge success. Late nineteenth-century theater had been based on realistic stories and unsentimental characters. But in Cyrano de Bergerac, Rostand the traditional way of theatre to present an unabashed historical romance, set in the 1640s and featuring a flamboyant hero. Audiences loved the play’s passionate love story, comedy, fast-paced action, and tragic ending.
America was lush and prosperous. One of the reasons why historians called this the “Gilded Age” is, the fact, that average Americans enjoyed fairs that displayed industrial machines, the latest creations and other American progress. Americans attended circuses, vaudeville shows and sporting events. Baseball became so popular after 1900. America detonated with playing popular songs from sheet music on parlor pianos, played records on phonographs, and bought cheap books that accentuated adventure and the value of hard work and courage.
Although Rhapsody in Blue was noted by most biographers as his most famous production, he had composed many other pieces that are anticipated to never be forgotten. The first song George ever published was, “When You Want ‘Em You Can’t Get ‘Em”. This song as well as many to follow are what sparked the initial conditions he needed for his name to become attention grabbing, especially to Broadway luminaries. One of the most popular years for George, prior to Rhapsody, was experienced in 1919 when his hit song “Swanee” and show La, La Lucille were both performed. The song premiered in the musical Sinbad which quickly sold more than two-million recordings.
The 1920’s alone was an interesting period, but to learn more about how it has evolved is most definitely not a time waster. To start Dance is a form of art, from the music to the culture and the history behind it, dance has been a way people could express themselves for many decades. In the clubs, they did dance contests called marathons, which is when dance until can't dance anymore. In the late 1920s came the tango and the waltz, which still play a role in history today from dance shows like Dancing with the Stars to So You Think You Can Dance.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has become a household name throughout the entire world. Not only do people flock to see his shows, but the pure fact that people outside of the theatre world know the composer of certain musicals is an accomplishment in itself. He has changed the musical theatre world. Some call him a “Broadway master” because his musical Phantom of the Opera surpassed his own record for the musical Cats to now hold the record for the longest running musical on Broadway as well as London’s West End ( Snelson 1). Cats has been translated into eleven languages and has grossed over a total of two billion dollars.
The 1920’s in the United States also known as roaring twenties was a time for change and rebirth for a nation that just got done with a savage war. There were many technological advancements that brought about this change with large scale production methods and helpful inventions to make life easier. Although these advancements were very good for our society none was more important than the cultural movements throughout the 1920’s specifically the Jazz Movement. The Jazz movement in the 1930’s has had a tremendous impact on the American Identity by bringing different American cultures closer together which America a stronger country.
It didn’t take long for the public eye to recognize the power that music had to transcend differences. “One newspaper reported, “Tonight, the most beautiful Music Hall in the world was consecrated to the loveliest of the arts. Possession of such a hall is in itself an incentive for culture.” Another exclaimed, “It stood the test well!” Critical and public reactions were unanimous. The “Music Hall founded by Andrew Carnegie” was an overwhelming success.”2 Music has the potential to embody emotion so raw that its Midas’s touch does not discriminate. As the first note rings through the air, barriers are torn down as a ubiquitous feeling of unity rises.
The singles sold well in the Memphis area immediately, and by 1955 they began starting to sell well to country audiences throughout the country but especially in the South. Presley, Moore, and Black hit the road with a stage show that grew ever wilder and more provocative, Elvis’ constant dance moves especially his swiveling hips caused enormous debate though out America. The last Sun single, "Mystery Train," hit number one on the national country charts in late 1955. Presley was a performer with superstar potential, attracting the interest of big labels and Colonel Tom Parker, who became Elvis' manager. In need of capital to expand the Sun label, Sam Phillips sold Presley's contract to RCA in late 1955 for 35,000 dollars.
Another environment displaying the corrupt madness of wealth through the critique of the carelessness of those who have wealth, are Gatsby’s parties. Gatsby’s parties are a menagerie of people of all walks of life. Gatsby’s parties are exotically, delightful experiences: upon entrance “the lights grow brighter...laughter is easier, minute by minute,” and “once [one arrived] there they were introduced by somebody who knew Gatsby and after that they conducted themselves according to the rules of behavior associated with amusement parks” (44,
The new form of popular entertainment really kept the 1920’s quite entertained from their political songs, broadsides, dance music, and piano music; how could one be bored? (Funk and Wagnalls) During this era several things began to gain attention, but a couple things in particular really shined through all the pieces coming out in the wave of notoriety. The popular considered to be the “happy-go-lucky,” melodies that centered a lot of popular favorites were coming from a composer of the name Tin Pan Alley. Some of the melodies that were popular were: Whispering, Wang Wang Blues, Wabash Blues, Linger Awhile, Who, My Blue Heaven, Sonny Boy, The Prisoner 's Song, April Showers, My Mammy, Dreamy Melody, and It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More. (Jazz Standards.com) The 1920’s centered around these tunes more than others, but that doesn’t mean they were hated they just weren’t as popular; but despite the rankings the pieces affected the entertainment in the 20’s for the best.
The 1920’s are known as the “Roaring Twenties”, a decade of wealth, cultural progression, and overall a party decade. The stock market was turning average men into millionaires, people strived to embrace cultural, and gender differences, and jazz, dancing, and the iconic Jay Gatsby were centerpieces of the time. Many notable artists thrived during this period: Georgia O’keeffe being one of the most famous artists of her time.
After her success on Broadway she moved to Paris to perform in La Revue Nègre. There she found popularity that she wouldn 't have found if she had stayed in America. In Paris she was one of the biggest stars, she performed in a show where she wore a banana skirt and it was a huge hit In 1925 she had her own nightclub Chez
The era of 1920s represented vast developments in the music business. The phonograph record developed into the principal method of publicizing music, surpassing sales of sheet music. The music industry, ever powerful to learn new customs of making earnings, realized that record, sheet music and piano roll sales could all be tied together. This led to the creation of the “song plugger” which was a person who made sure his company’s music would be performed by bands and singers in hope of one of the tracks cracking the status of a hit. This marked that start of independent music companies, who were the companies that ended up grabbing musicians that the larger companies ignored; they weren’t scared to take chances on the so-called rejects.