Portal:Musical Theatre
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Portal:Musical Theatre

Introduction

The Black Crook was a hit musical in 1866.

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical - humor, pathos, love, anger - are communicated through words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America. These were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century. The Princess Theatre musicals (1915-1918) and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing (1931) were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat (1927) and Oklahoma! (1943). Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story (1957), The Fantasticks (1960), Hair (1967), A Chorus Line (1975), Les Misérables (1985), The Phantom of the Opera (1986), Rent (1996), The Producers (2001), Wicked (2003) and Hamilton (2015).

Selected article

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant

A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant is a satirical musical about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard, written by Kyle Jarrow from a concept by Alex Timbers, the show's original director. The one-act musical lasts about an hour. Jarrow based the story of the musical on L. Ron Hubbard's writings and Church of Scientology literature. The musical follows the life of L. Ron Hubbard as he develops Dianetics and then Scientology. Though the musical pokes fun at Hubbard's science fiction writing and personal beliefs, it has been called a "deadpan presentation" of his life story. Topics explored in the piece include Dianetics, the E-meter, Thetans, and the story of Xenu. The show was originally presented by Les Freres Corbusier, an experimental theatrical troupe and debuted in November 2003 in New York City, where it had sold-out Off-Off-Broadway and Off-Broadway productions. Later performances have included Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Productions of A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant in 2003, 2004 and 2006 were well received. The musical received an Obie Award for the 2003 New York production, and director Alex Timbers received a Garland Award for the 2004 Los Angeles production. The play also received positive reviews in the press.

Selected biography

Angela Lansbury in Deuce 2007.jpg

Angela Lansbury CBE (born October 16, 1925) is a Tony-winning, Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated, and Emmy-nominated English actress, best-known for playing mystery writer Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote.

On Broadway, Lansbury received good reviews from her first musical outing, the short-lived 1964 Stephen Sondheim musical Anyone Can Whistle, which co-starred Lee Remick. Two years later, she was offered what proved to be the biggest triumph of her theatrical career, the title role in Mame, Jerry Herman's musical adaptation of the novel and subsequent film Auntie Mame, which had starred Rosalind Russell. Opening at the Winter Garden Theater on May 24, 1966, Mame ran for 1508 performances. Lansbury's portrayal, opposite Bea Arthur as Vera Charles, earned her the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. She and Arthur became life-long friends.

Lansbury returned to the Broadway stage for the first time in more than 25 years in Deuce, a play by Terrence McNally, co-starring with Marian Seldes. The play previewed at the Music Box Theatre on April 11, 2007, and opened on May 6, 2007 in a limited run of 18 weeks. Lansbury received a Tony nomination in the category of Leading Actress in a Play for her role in this production, but did not win the Tony that year.

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Did you know...

Selected image

The show is explicitly an homage to the PBS children's television program Sesame Street. Both Marx and puppet designer/original cast member, Rick Lyon have previously worked for Sesame Street, as have the other puppeteers in the original cast. However, unlike Sesame Street, Avenue Q openly addresses adult topics such as racism, infidelity, and masturbation; in fact, because of its adult language and content and "full puppet nudity" (including simulated sex between puppets), the show specifically disclaims any connection to the Children's Television Workshop or The Jim Henson Company. In an interview with Britain's The Times, addressing the question of potential conflicts with Henson, Marx claimed, "During early previews in the States we invited Jim Henson's widow and children and they could see that what we were doing was a homage and love letter to 'Sesame Street.'"

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The current Musical Theatre Collaboration of the Month is
All Stub class articles beginning with the letter "A".

The next winner will be selected on
an unknown date.

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