The Complete Book of 1950s Broadway Musicals
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About the author
Dan Dietz taught English and the history of modern drama at Western Carolina University, and later served with the U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Education Department. He is the author of Off-Broadway Musicals, 1910-2007:Casts, Credits, Songs, Critical Reception and Performance Data of More Than 1,800 Shows (2010) and The Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).
The Broadway musical came of age in the 1950s, a period in which some of the greatest productions made their debuts. Shows produced on Broadway during this decade include such classics as Damn Yankees, Fiorello!, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, Kismet, The Most Happy Fella, My Fair Lady, The Pajama Game, Peter Pan, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story. Among the performers who made their marks were Julie Andrews, Bob Fosse, Carol Lawrence, and Gwen Verdon, while other talents who contributed to shows include Leonard Bernstein, Oscar Hammerstein II, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, Cole Porter, Jerome Robbins, Richard Rodgers, and Stephen Sondheim.
In The Complete Book of 1950s Broadway Musicals, Dan Dietz examines in detail every musical and revue which opened on Broadway during the 1950s. In addition to providing details on every hit and flop that debuted during the decade, this book includes revivals, and one-man and one-woman shows.
Each entry contains the following information:
- Opening and closing dates
- Plot summary
- Cast members
- Number of performances
- Names of all important personnel including writers, composers, directors, choreographers, producers, and musical directors
- Musical numbers and the names of performers who introduced the songs
- Production data, including information about tryouts
- Source material
- Critical commentary
- Tony awards and nominations
- Details about London and other foreign productions
Besides separate entries for each production, the book offers numerous appendices, such as a discography, film and television versions, published scripts, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and lists of productions by the New York City Center Light Opera Company, and the New York City Opera Company.
A treasure trove of information, The Complete Book of 1950s Broadway Musicals provides readers with a complete view of each show. This significant resource will be of use to scholars, historians, and casual fans of one of the greatest decades in musical theatre history.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
; July 2014
478 pages; ISBN 9781442235052Read online
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Title: The Complete Book of 1950s Broadway Musicals
Author: Dan Dietz
In the press
Anyone who enjoyed Dietz’s Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals will welcome this new volume, which covers every show from Happy as Larry (January 1950) through Vernon Duke’s flop The Pink Jungle (closed pre-Broadway December 1959)--206 shows altogether. As he did in the earlier title, Dietz discusses all book musicals with new music, revivals, revues, new operas, imports, and other works that appeared in New York venues (plus pre-Broadway closings). Each chronologically arranged entry includes opening and closing dates, number of performances, crew, cast (with character names), setting, musical numbers (and performers), two-page plot summary and critical reception, awards, book availability, and detailed recording history. If a performer’s name was billed above the title, it is presented in italics. Entries are well written and informed, with commentary supported by quotes from the original New York theater critics. Eleven appendixes (including discography and filmography) are included. More detailed than Thomas Hischak’s Broadway Plays and Musicals or Ethan Mordden’s Coming up Roses: The Broadway Musical in the 1950s (2000), this is a valuable resource. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.