History Of Musical Theatre

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Musical theatre is a performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical are told through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Musical theatre is unique for every culture. In america it took years to find its own unique identity. The first “play” put on was in 1735, it was technically a British opera called Flora. After this play the colonies started to form together as a nation and a new type of play was developed, the burlesque. The burlesque was all about tragedies and parodies of other plays with performers and dancers in song, dance, pantomime and dialogue. This quickly became popular within the nation, one of the earliest…show more content…
After the 1860s, and for the rest of the century, the American stage was once again flooded with foreign operettas. Some of these operas included: the opera-bouffes of Offenbach and Lecocq, the operettas of Suppé and Johann Strauss II, and the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan. Although The Black Crook was a successful play for it’s time the first successful American-written operetta was Willard Spencer's The Little Tycoon written in 1886. All the years of European influence on the American musical theatre was pronounced and inescapable, extreme efforts were being made to achieve a musical entertainment basically American in style, spirit and format. The first play to have a plat, characterization, setting, and at the same time focus on the American experiences, was The Brook in 1879, with the book and lyrics written by Nate Salesbury. That being said, the plot wasn’t the best but it was the first with a plot so, we’ve got to give that to the…show more content…
They created a whole new genre of plays, musical play. Unlike what was being shown before, ( Musical comedies ) they musical plays’ main focus what not comedy. The musical play and musical comedy are still today the two major branches of Musical theatre. Each is thriving, artistically and commercially, because it has its own place and purpose.
Theatre in a more recent era, ( 2000’s ) was inspired by boring history made interesting. Examples are, Urinetown (2001), Avenue Q (2003), The Light in the Piazza (2005), Spring Awakening (2006), In the Heights (2007), Next to Normal (2009), American Idiot (2010) and The Book of Mormon (2011). Hamilton (2015). Broadway is a long, wide street in Manhattan, New York that goes North to South and happens to be home of the American theater industry. It is the most famously known street with some of the best plays and musicals being put on, and is home to 40 large professional theaters each capable of seating over 500 people. In 2010 alone, Broadway shows sold more than $1 billion in tickets! Many of the shows played are very popular and profitable and they often run for many years, only stopping when they can no longer draw in new audiences and/or make profits. The longest-running musical on Broadway is The Phantom of the Opera. It opened on Broadway in 1988 and is still being played even
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