Curriculum Design Online

Razzle Dazzle Which way to Broadway?

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An Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Thematic study of American Musical Theatre American Musical Theatre has reflected the social and political issues of our country since it's earliest days. Minstrel Shows, Vaudeville, Burlesque, and Opera have all contributed to an art form that has reached people of all classes and races. Many of our greatest American composers and performers have contributed to this genre.

I took the Well's Fargo Wagon and the Starlight Express to Somewhere Over the Rainbow. At the Point of No Return, I had to Climb Every Mountain and was in A Whole New World far from the home I love. It's a Hard Knock Life and I can't pay the Rent, because I got Plenty O' Nuttin'. I ain't down yet! Any dream will do to keep me going, because Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better. Some Enchanted Evening, you'll Let Me Entertain You. But before the parade passes by, I'll Give My Regards to Broadway.

If you recognize the song titles or can identify the musicals and/or composers listed above, you have an awareness of the impact of musical theatre on American culture. One producer wrote; "The greatest question musical dramatists must answer is: does the story I am telling sing? Is the subject sufficiently off the ground to compel the heightened emotion of bursting into song? Will a song add a deeper understanding of character or situation?" Composers of musical theatre wrestle with these questions in their search for the "book", and then with how to best use music to tell the story.