Broadway: the American musical v. 1 with English/Chinese subtitles.Published by : PBS Video Physical details: 120 min. ; color.
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BROADWAY: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL is a new six-part documentary series that chronicles the Broadway musical throughout the 20th century and explores the evolution of this uniquely American art form. Episode one: Give My Regards to Broadway (1893-1927) Featured Musicals : "In Dahomey", "Little Johnny Jones", "Show Boat", "The Black Crook", "The Great Ziegfeld", "Ziegfeld Follies" When Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. first hit New York in 1893, the intersection of Broadway and 42nd was nobody's idea of "the crossroads of the world." But by 1913, "'The Ziegfeld Follies' really were an amalgamation of everything that was happening in America, in New York, at that time," says writer Philip Furia. "Flo Ziegfeld was like the Broadway equivalent of the melting pot itself." Ziegfeld's story introduces many of the era's key figures: Irving Berlin, a Russian immigrant who became the voice of assimilated America; entertainers like Jewish comedienne Fanny Brice and African American Bert Williams, who became America's first "crossover" artists; and the brash Irish American George M. Cohan, whose song-and-dance routines embodied the energy of Broadway. This is also the story of the onset of World War I and the Red Summer of 1919, when labor unrest swept the nation -- and Broadway. The episode culminates in Ziegfeld's 1927 production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's far-sighted masterpiece, "Show Boat." With the Great Depression, the Ziegfeld era became a memory. Episode two: Syncopated City (1919-1933) Featured Musicals "A connecticut Yankee", "George White Scandals" ,"Good News", "Lady Be, Good!", "Runnin' Wild", "Sally", "shuffle Along", "The Garrick Gaieties", "Tip-Toes" Gossip columnist Walter Winchell gave Broadway a nickname that becomes synonymous with all of New York: "It is the Big Apple, the goal of all ambitions, the pot of gold at the end of a drab and somewhat colorless rainbow." With the advent of Prohibition and the Jazz Age, America convulsed with energy and change, and nowhere was the riotous mix of classes and cultures more dramatically on display than Broadway. "There was this period in which everybody was leaping across borders and boundaries," says director/producer George C. Wolfe. "There was this incredible cross-fertilization, cultural appropriation." While brash American women flapped their way to newfound freedoms, heroines of Broadway like Marilyn Miller became a testament to pluck and luck. It was the age of "Whoopee" and the "Charleston," "Runnin' Wild" and the "George White Scandals." In 1921, a jazz show like no other arrived: "Shuffle Along," which featured a rich, rousing score by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, reopening Broadway's doors to black artists. Unique talents like the Marx Brothers and Al Jolson -- a Jewish immigrant and Prohibition's biggest star -- rocketed to stardom. The Gershwin brothers, the minstrels of the Jazz Age, brought a "Fascinating Rhythm" to an entire nation. Innovative songwriting teams like Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart ignited a new age of bright melodies and clever lyrics with the massive hit "Manhattan." But as the Roaring Twenties came to a close, Broadway's Jazz Age suffered the one-two punch of the "talking picture" and the stock market crash, triggering a massive talent exodus to Hollywood and putting an end to Broadway's feverish expansion.