The Secret Life of the American Musical

The Secret Life of the American Musical

How Broadway Shows Are Built

Book - 2016
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Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical? In this book, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next.
Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374256920
Characteristics: xvii, 312 p. ; 24 cm


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Aug 10, 2018

Absolutely love this book! From beginning to end I felt like the author was a dear friend sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with Broadway productions as well as keen insight on human wants, needs, and bio-rhythms. Had no idea how profound and powerful musical productions could be... so much can be "said" by a few notes, a few dance steps, or simple silence as well as by the structure of the production! Not only entertaining but inspiring as well. While watching a performance by a local little theater group of "Man of La Mancha" over 30 years ago my life changed significantly. :-)

Mar 24, 2018

Enlightening, and lots of fun for any musical lover. As a bonus, it includes a list of cast recordings with the author's recommendations, to help fill in any gaps in one's collection.

OPL_AutumnH Feb 06, 2018

This changed the way I listen to musical cast recordings. The author analyzes the structure to how many (not all) musical scores are written, and you can't stop noticing once it's pointed out. When you're finished reading be prepared to go on a listening/watching binge of every musical he references.


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