Although 1776 tells the story of what happened at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1776 leading up to the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, and it accurately portrays the serious personal and political issues at stake ? frequently in the characters? own words, written by them at the time ? it remains a musical comedy.?? Wikipedia
Based on the classic 1933 movie musical of the same name, 42nd Street tells the story of a starry-eyed young actress named Peggy Sawyer who has come to audition for the new Julian Marsh musical that is about to open on Broadway. Unfortunately, Peggy can’t seem to work up the nerve to walk through the stage door until it’s too late–the audition is over. But not to worry! Peggy soon catches the eye of the famous director, and when the chorus turns up one girl short, Peggy gets her big break. But Peggy can’t seem to stay in the good graces of the show’s aging leading lady, Dorothy Brock, and on opening night, another Dancer accidentally pushes Peggy into Ms. Brock who falls and breaks her ankle. The furious director fires Peggy on the spot. Discouraged and ready to give up all her dreams of becoming a star, Peggy packs her bags and heads for the train station, but fate has other plans and Peggy may turn out to be a star yet! Wikipedia
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A Chorus Line is a musical with music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Edward Kleban and a book by James Kirkwood, Jr. and Nicholas Dante. Centred on seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line, the musical is set on the bare stage of a Broadway theatre during an audition for a musical. A Chorus Line provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.
Following several workshops and an Off-Broadway production, A Chorus Line opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway on July 25, 1975, directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett. An unprecedented box office and critical hit, the musical received 12 Tony Award nominations and won 9 of them, in addition to the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. ? Wikipedia
A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens, first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. It tells the story of bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from supernatural visits by Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian era Britain, a period when there was strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions together with the introduction of new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens? sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales. The tale has been viewed by critics as an indictment of 19th century industrial capitalism. It has been credited with restoring the Christmas season as one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America after a period of sobriety and sombreness. A Christmas Carol remains popular ? having never been out of print ? and has been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media. ? wikipedia
A Doll?s House is a three-act play in prose by Henrik Ibsen. It premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month. The play is significant for its critical attitude toward 19th century marriage norms. It aroused great controversy at the time, as it concludes with the protagonist, Nora, leaving her husband and children because she wants to discover herself. Ibsen was inspired by the belief that ?a woman cannot be herself in modern society,? since it is ?an exclusively male society, with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess feminine conduct from a masculine standpoint.? Its ideas can also be seen as having a wider application: Michael Meyer argued that the play?s theme is not women?s rights, but rather ?the need of every individual to find out the kind of person he or she really is and to strive to become that person.? In a speech given to the Norwegian Association for Women?s Rights in 1898, Ibsen insisted that he ?must disclaim the honor of having consciously worked for the women?s rights movement,? since he wrote ?without any conscious thought of making propaganda,? his task having been ?the description of humanity.?? wikipedia
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart. Inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251?183 BC), specifically Pseudolus, Miles Gloriosus and Mostellaria, the musical tells the bawdy story of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. The plot displays many classic elements of farce, including puns, the slamming of doors, cases of mistaken identity (frequently involving characters disguising themselves as one another), and satirical comments on social class. The title derives from the line that vaudeville comedians often used to begin a story: ?A funny thing happened on the way to the theater?. The musical?s original 1962 Broadway run won several Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Author (Musical). A Funny Thing has enjoyed several Broadway and West End revivals and was made into a successful film starring the original lead of the musical, Zero Mostel. ? wikipedia
A Midsummer Night?s Dream,? William Shakespeare?s most popular comedy, was written around 1594 or 95. It portrays the adventures of four young lovers and a group of amateur actors, their interactions with woodland fairies and a duke and duchess. Taking place in a mythical Athens and an enchanted forest, there is a handsome fairy king, a misguided parent, star-crossed lovers, a weaver who?s transformed into a half-donkey, wood sprites and elves. This work is widely performed around the world, and no wonder ? it?s about the world?s most popular pastime, falling in love. But as Puck knows, falling in love can make fools of us all. ?Wikipedia
Aida is a musical drama in two acts based on Giuseppe Verdi?s Italian-language opera by the same name, which is in turn based on a story by Auguste Mariette. The musical was produced by Hyperion Theatricals, a unit within Disney Theatrical, with music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, Robert Falls, and David Henry Hwang. The Broadway production ran in the Palace Theatre between March 23, 2000 and September 5, 2004 for a total of 1,852 performances (and 30 previews). It is currently running as a national tour.
The plot is based on the 1992 movie Aladdin. Many of the classic scenes and songs from the movie are re-created on stage and some of the action even spills out into the aisles, like Prince Ali?s jubilant arrival in Agrabah on elephant back. Flying carpets, magic lamps, wise-cracking genies, princesses, and evil wizards ? are all a part of this musical production. Alan Menken composed and wrote lyrics for a new song for this production, called To Be Free. The show has been quite popular because while much of it is scripted, the dialogue of the Genie constantly changes to reflect current events in popular culture and the news.?? Wikipedia
A charmingly clever and imaginatively selective dramatization of Lewis Carroll?s two classics. 2 Acts. 21 major characters; can be performed with as few as 12 actors. Many roles can be played by men or women. Note: Script designed so 2 roles can be eliminated, reducing minimum cast size to 10. Cast size also easily expandable. Setting: requires only simple, colorful, portable pieces. Costumes: fantastical, except for Alice and the Narrator..?? Wikipedia
All My Sons is a 1947 play by Arthur Miller. The play was twice adapted for film; in 1948, and again in 1986.The play, which opened on Broadway at the Coronet Theatre in New York City on January 29, 1947, closed on November 8, 1947 and ran for 328 performances, was awarded the 1947 Tony Award for Best Authored Play. A Broadway revival began previews at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on September 18, 2008 and officially opened on October 16, 2008. The limited engagement ran through until January 4, 2009.?Wikipedia
Amahl, a shepherd, tries to tell his mother about what he has seen outside; an enormous star with a long tale. His mother, used to his habitual lying, grows angry; she is even angrier when Amahl tells he that a knock at the door is three kings come to visit them. The kings enter and tell the two peasants that they have come to find a king, and they show the rich gifts they have brought him. While Amahl?s mother is out gathering wood for the fire, Amahl asks the kings questions about their lives. The mother returns with her neighbors, and the villagers present their gifts to the visitors. That night, Amahl?s mother tries to steal some of the kings? gold to use to help her child; she is caught, and when the kings offer to let her keep the gold, explaining that the king they seek will need nothing but love to rule his kingdom, she returns it. Amahl offers his staff as an additional gift, and suddenly finds that he can walk. He leaves with the kings to pay homage to the child who has healed him.??Wikipedia
Anne of Green Gables is a bestselling novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery published in 1908. It was written as fiction for readers of all ages, but in recent decades has been considered a children?s book. Montgomery found her inspiration for the book on an old piece of paper that she had written at a young age, describing a couple that were mistakenly sent an orphan girl instead of a boy, yet decided to keep her. Montgomery also drew upon her own childhood experiences in rural Prince Edward Island. Montgomery used a photograph of Evelyn Nesbit, clipped from an American magazine and pasted on the wall above her writing desk, as the model for Anne Shirley, the book?s main character.
When Buffolo Bill?s Wild West Show comes into town, Annie Oakley quickly falls in love with the show?s sharpshooter, Frank Butler. Annie, an amazing sharpshooter herself, joins the show so she can win Frank. Unfortunately for Annie, Frank wants a more feminine woman and not a tomboy, gun-toting dame. Further, the fact that she can shoot better than Frank makes her his enemy. In the end, Annie lets Frank win in the sharpshooting contest. As a result, he falls in love with Annie and the two sharpshooters get married. ? Wikipedia
With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, ANNIE escapes to the wondrous and magical world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, ANNIE foils Miss Hannigan?s evil machinations and befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She finds a new home and family in billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. ANNIE is the perfect family-friendly musical, and an ideal show for a largely female cast.?.?? Wikipedia
Anything Goes is set aboard the ocean liner S. S. American, where nightclub singer/evangelist Reno Sweeney is en route from New York to England. Her pal Billy Crocker has stowed away to be near his love, Hope Harcourt, but the problem is Hope is engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Joining this love triangle on board the luxury liner are Public Enemy #13, Moonface Martin and his sidekick-in-crime Erma. With the help of some elaborate disguises, tap-dancing sailors and good old-fashioned blackmail, Reno and Martin join forces to help Billy in his quest to win Hope?s heart.? Wikipedia
By Joseph Kesselring
ARSENIC AND OLD LACE is one of the American theatre?s funniest comedies. Drama critic Mortimer Brewster is engaged to the lovely Elaine Harper? but will she fit in with his ?unusual? family? Abby and Martha Brewster are known throughout Brooklyn for their many acts of kindness and charity. But Mortimer has just learned that his charming spinster aunts have taken to relieving the loneliness of old men by inviting them in for a nice glass of home-made elderberry wine laced with arsenic, strychnine, and ?just a pinch? of cyanide! What else can go wrong? Their brother believes that he?s Teddy Roosevelt! Don?t miss our 75th Anniversary production of the classic madcap comedy ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.
Auntie Mame is a 1955 novel by Patrick Dennis chronicling the madcap adventures of a boy, Patrick, growing up as the ward of the sister of his dead father. The novel was adapted for the stage by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Running October 31, 1956 ? June 28, 1958 at the Broadhurst Theatre, the original Broadway production starred Rosalind Russell in the title role. The original Broadway cast also included Robert Allen as Mr. Babcock, Yuki Shimoda as Ito, Robert Smith as Beau, Polly Rowles as Vera Charles, and Peggy Cass as Agnes Gooch. Both Russell and Cass were nominated for Tony Awards in 1957 with only Cass winning. ? wikipedia
Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton. Based on the 1991 film of the same name, which was in turn adapted from the French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a prince who is transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for his cruel and selfish ways, and an adventurous young woman named Belle whom he imprisons in his castle. In order to become human again, the Beast must earn Belle?s love before it?s too late. Seven new songs were written for the stage musical. Beauty ran on Broadway for 5,461 performances between 1994 and 2007, becoming Broadway?s eighth longest-running production in history. The musical has grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide and played in thirteen countries and 115 cities. It has also become a popular choice for high school productions.? Wikipedia
Big River, based on Mark Twain?s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was conceived primarily as a vehicle to showcase the talents of country music songwriter Roger Miller. It tells the story of Huck Finn and his friend Jim, a runaway slave, as they travel down the Mississippi River and features such showstoppers as ?Muddy Water?. The show opened at the Eugene O?Neill Theatre on April 25, 1985 and ran for 1,005 performances. The original production featured Daniel H. Jenkins (Huck) and Ron Richardson (Jim).?? Wikipedia
Brigadoon is a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Songs from the musical, such as ?Almost Like Being in Love? have become standards. The story involves two American tourists who stumble upon Brigadoon, a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every hundred years. Tommy, one of the tourists, falls in love with Fiona, a young woman from Brigadoon. The original production opened on Broadway in 1947 and ran for 581 performances. It starred David Brooks, George Keane, and Marion Bell. Brigadoon then received a West End production opening in 1949 that ran for 685 performances, and many revivals followed. A 1954 film version starred Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse. A 1966 television version starred Robert Goulet and Peter Falk.??Wikipedia
Bye Bye Birdie opened April 14, 1960. The show featured Dick Van Dyke and Chita Rivera and was the first big hit for songwriters Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, librettist Michael Stewart, and director Gower Champion. The plot revolves around rock and roll superstar Conrad Birdie and the complications that arise when his agent (Dick Van Dyke) stages a publicity stunt on The Ed Sullivan Show in which he will kiss one lucky girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio before being drafted into the army. Bye Bye Birdie ran for 607 performances at the Martin Beck Theatre. Dick Van Dyke repeated his role in the 1963 screen version which also starred Ann-Margret? Wikipedia
Camelot, the follow up to Lerner and Loewe?s smash hit My Fair Lady, is based on T.H. White?s novel The Once and Future King. The novel?which deals with the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table?actually consists of four books, and the rights to the first of these books (The Sword and the Stone) had already been purchased by Disney. So Lerner and Loewe acquired the rights to the last three books and focused on Arthur?s later years and the love triangle between King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, and Sir Lancelot. Camelot proved to be another huge success for Lerner and Loewe. It opened at the Majestic Theatre on December 3, 1960 and closed January 5, 1963 after a run of 873 performances. Richard Burton made his musical debut as King Arthur and Robert Goulet made his New York debut as Lancelot. Julie Andrews, a personal friend of T.H. White?s played the role of Guenevere. The 1967 screen version featured Richard Harris, Vanessa Redgrave, and Franco Nero ?Wikipedia
The Canterbury Tales is a collection of over 20 stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer at the end of the 14th century, during the time of the Hundred Years? War. The tales (mostly written in verse, although some are in prose) are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together on a journey from Southwark to the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral. The prize for this contest is a free meal at the Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
After a long list of works written earlier in his career, including Troilus and Criseyde, House of Fame, and ?Parliament of Fowls?, The Canterbury Tales is near-unanimously seen as Chaucer?s magnum opus. He uses the tales and the descriptions of its characters to paint an ironic and critical portrait of English society at the time, and particularly of the Church. Structurally, the collection resembles The Decameron, which Chaucer may have read during his first diplomatic mission to Italy in 1372. ? wikipedia