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Broadway: the American musical v. 2 with English/Chinese subtitles

Published by : PBS Video Year: 2004
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Visual Materials Visual Materials 高雄美國資料專區 - 寶珠 American Shelf Kaohsiung Baozhu
Not for loan AC00601

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 3: I Got Plenty O'Nuttin' (1929-1942) Featured Musicals are "Americana", "anything Goes", "As Thousands Cheer", "Gay Divorce" "Girl Crazy", "Of Thee I sing", "Pal Joey", "Paris", "Porgy and Bess", "The Cradle Will Rock", "This is the Army" The Great Depression proved to be a dynamic period of creative growth on Broadway, and a dichotomy in the musical theater emerged. Productions like Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" offered glamour and high times as an escape, while others -- such as "Of Thee I Sing," which satirized the American political system, and the remarkable WPA production of "The Cradle Will Rock," about a steel strike -- dealt directly with the era's social and political concerns. When Bing Crosby recorded "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime," the doleful Broadway ballad took the hit parade by surprise. "This song spoke to the hearts, and to the minds, and to the emotions and thoughts, of everybody who lived during that depression," says lyricist Yip Harburg's son, Ernie. Rodgers and Hart created a string of new shows, including the sexually frank "Pal Joey," a genuine departure that starred newcomer Gene Kelly. In the gloom of the depression, Porter offered Broadway audiences such unforgettable songs as "You're the Top," which served as an effervescent tonic to a weary nation. In 1935, George Gershwin created his epic masterpiece, "Porgy and Bess," bringing a hybrid style of folk opera to Broadway. The onset of World War II galvanized the country and America's troubadour, Irving Berlin, rallied the troops with "This Is the Army." Episode 4: Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (1943-1960) Featured Musicals are "annie Get Your Gun", "Carousel", "Guys and Dolls", "Kiss Me, Kate", "My Fair Lady", "Oklahoma!","On the Town", "Sound of Music", "South Pacific" The new partnership of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II changed the face of Broadway forever, beginning with the record-breaking "Oklahoma!" in 1943, featuring a landmark ballet by Agnes de Mille. "Carousel" and "South Pacific" then set the standard for decades to come by pioneering a musical where story is all-important. For challenging the country to confront its deep-seated racial bigotry, "South Pacific" won the Pulitzer Prize. In "On the Town," an exuberant team of novices -- Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jerome Robbins -- captured the energy, humor, and pathos of New York City during World War II. Irving Berlin triumphed again with "Annie Get Your Gun," featuring Ethel Merman and the unofficial anthem of the American musical theater, "There's No Business Like Show Business." In shows like "Guys and Dolls," "My Fair Lady," and "Kiss Me, Kate," sophisticated adaptations of literary material prevailed. "Cole Porter led the way in writing adult songs about love and sex," says theater historian Robert Kimball. "He defied the censors. He, probably more than any other songwriter in this century, made it possible for the openness that we have in all popular music." In 1956, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe triumphed with "My Fair Lady," featuring an 18-year-old Julie Andrews. TV's THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW became the most important showcase for Broadway musicals. Yet with the death of Oscar Hammerstein II soon after the premiere of "The Sound of Music" in 1959, the curtain began to lower on a golden age.