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Presentation Given On Musical Theatre Essay

2151 words - 9 pages

Presentation Given on Musical Theatre


The eminence of the musical has been the most significant theatre phenomenon in the world over the last twenty years. It has not only given British theatres a greatly needed financial boost but has changed 'popular' theatre indefinitely. Before this, they never throbbed with subtlety because someone was always bursting into song about how every thing 'was looking just swell'. The musical not only wanted to sing away your troubles, but your thoughts as well. The 'old style' musical theatre had no social conscience. Always presented in the traditional proscenium arch, the musical isolated the audience from new ideas and innovations. Due to television broadcasting daily updates on world affairs it is now impossible to believe in the benevolence of the Universe that the likes of Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote about. Today's audiences can almost find it abhorrent, being socially aware and informed of current affairs.

I would like to take you on a short journey charting the development of the musical. Kirsty, Rick & I will demonstrate thru songs the changes that have taken place.

Hello Dolly
The play first opens in 1890's New York City with Dolly Gallagher Levi, a well-known widowed matchmaker. The song you are about to hear is sung by a crew of elated waiters who escort Dolly into the restaurant ecstatic that their favourite patron has returned for the first time since her husband's death. The story is very dated, but a charming one! Dolly is determined to find herself a new husband after she has been widowed. The story revolves around her pursuits in catching her man! The song Kirsty is about to perform does not advance or enhance the story at all. Although it is a catchy tune it halts the progression.

Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof stands as one of the strongest, most emotional musicals in history and the film version is a wonderful document of the work.

The story takes place just after the turn of the 20th Century in Anatevka, a small village in Czarist Russia which is populated by both Jews and Christians. Tevye, a religious Jew has personal conversations with God and lives by his traditions. He is repeatedly asked to bend tradition to permit his daughters to marry the men they love. .

Fiddler on the Roof is one of the best musicals ever written. It has a compelling story line, beautiful music, wonderful cinematography, and stunning choreography. This movie includes classic songs such as "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," "To Life," "Miracle of Miracles" "Sunrise, Sunset" and "If I were a Rich Man."
There are many stereotypes of Jewish characters but they are all lovingly portrayed.

· Many Jews lived in poor farming villages in European Russia in the late 1800's and at the turn of the Century. They were subject to periodic government sponsored pogroms and dispossessions. Millions emigrated to the United States in the period 1890 - 1920. ...

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