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Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from 'Show Boat' to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber Paperback – October 30, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0195384000 ISBN-10: 0195384008 Edition: 2nd

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Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from 'Show Boat' to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber + Four by Sondheim (Applause Musical Library) + From Assassins to West Side Story: The Director's Guide to Musical Theatre
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (October 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195384008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195384000
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Enchanted Evenings is a superb read." --Theatermania.com

"I can't think of another book, on any subject, in which the author shows such firm control over his materials, in this case scholarly as well as journalistic writing on the Broadway musical, reviews of shows, correspondence, the music itself, and archival materials of various sorts relating to the early stages of creation. Enchanted Evenings is fascinating, original, compelling."--Charles Hamm, Professor Emeritus of Music, Dartmouth College, and author, Irving Berlin: 1907-1914

"A solid and fascinating work that should become a model of how to investigate and report on the evolution of a musical. . . [Block's] research is persuasive and his writing vivid. . . Indispensable for anyone who cares to know more about Broadway musicals than Playbill can provide."--Steven Bach, The Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Some of the smartest commentary available about American musical theater"--Joel E. Siegel, The Washington Post

About the Author

Geoffrey Block, Distinguished Professor of Music History at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, is the author of Ives: "Concord" Sonata (Cambridge, 1996) and Richard Rodgers, the inaugural volume of the Yale Broadway Masters series, for which he serves as general editor. He is also the editor of The Richard Rodgers Reader (Oxford, 2002) and the Series Editor for Oxford's new Broadway Legacies.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Darrell Cozen on December 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
Enchanted Evenings second edition is a delight for lovers of Broadway musicals, giving musical and theatrical insights that can add greatly to the experience of seeing any of the musicals discussed in the book. It is interesting how a survey of Broadway musicals from the 1920's to the 2000's arrives at a list that introduced me to musicals that I had never heard of, while also inevitably omitting some of my favorites (Fiddler and Evita, being two examples). His selections include wildly popular musicals, critics favorites, as well as some that seem to mainly show the cultural mores of the era. A number of musicals that he selects deal with the issue of compromise (in love, in art, in music, etc.). Others deal with racial stereotypes, prejudice and justice.

In each musical, Block describes the musical themes and the narrative or plot themes in fascinating detail. He evidently loves to explore the transformations of a musical from an original play (for example Romeo and Juliet) to the Broadway musical (Westside Story) to the Academy Award-winning film. His comparisons of opera to musicals are enlightening.

Although the book greatly increases the appreciation of most musicals for a casual fan like myself, it also brought down my hero, Andrew Lloyd Webber, by pointing out the amount of borrowing he used and the overuse of some musical themes when not justified by the plot, action or mood. Although I will still enjoy Lloyd Webber's melodies the most, I will respect earlier giants more for their use of musicals to promote a more tolerant or just society.
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