The world of musical comedy is a wonderful world of bright lights, gay costumes, and beautiful scenery. It is also an exciting world of frantic opening nights, of temperamental stars, and of last-minute changes; a world of fascination, glamour, and make-believe. Above all, however, it is a world of music.Because music is the primary ingredient of the musical stage, Stanley Green has told the story of the world of musical comedy through the careers of its most famous composers and lyricists. Of all the arts that pour into the creation of great musical comedy, music endures the longest. A good song is a good song whether it was written in 1900 or in 1960.Here are the stories of Victor Herbert, the king of the American operetta; of George M. Cohan, the Yankee Doodle Boy; and of Jerome Kern, whose Show Boat lifted the musical theatre to new heights. Here, also, are the stories of Irving Berlin, the untutored master of melody and lyrics; of George Gershwin, whose infectious rhythms thrilled the Twenties; of Rodgers and Hart and their youthful, daring musicals; of Cole Porter, whose world has always been compounded of elegance and sophistication; and of Schwartz and Dietz and their brilliant revues. Within these pages are also thrilling accounts of Rodgers and Hammerstein, the most successful and influential team in the history of the musical theatre; of the remarkably versatile Leonard Bernstein; of Lerner and Loewe and the fascinating story of how they wrote My Fair Lady; of the multi-talented Frank Loesser; and of all the other “music men” who are keeping the lights of Broadway bright.The World of Musical Comedy is the story of the group of men who have transformed the lowly song-and-dance show into America’s one truly indigenous art form. It is a book for every theatre-goer, ever’ music lover, and everyone who enjoys the excitement of the musical stage.
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