Broadway Babies Say Goodnight
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The Broadway musical was a glorious seventy-year tradition, proceeding smoothly from Jerome Kern to Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim, and giving us along the way the best songs in American popular music, the art of lyric-writing, the structural integrity of the musical play and a new form of dramatic choreography. But what’s left of that in a lush, ‘through-composed’ operetta such as Phantom of the Opera or a dance-free ‘chamber opera’ such as Aspects of Love? Mark Steyn considers the pioneers who made the Broadway musical the central thruway of American popular culture, and the reasons why it crumbled away to a dusty backroad. But, fifteen years after Cats, he also contemplates the health of British musicals and wonders whether they, too, have met their Sunset Boulevard.
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