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Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre 2nd Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0028649702
ISBN-10: 0028649702
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Whether you need to know about a specific composer, from birth and death dates to a chronology of his or her works; the location of the first metropolitan production of a show; or a discarded alternate title, you'll find the answer here. This second edition of a fine reference work published in two volumes nearly a decade ago (LJ 6/1/94) is the most complete, thoroughly researched, and readable resource available on musical theater. Its three volumes contain over 4000 entries, including 500 new ones covering shows and artists that have debuted since the previous edition; updates and additions have also been made to the original entries. In the past 15 years, the author has written eight books on different aspects of musical theater, and the research process he describes here is astonishing in its thoroughness and dedication. The writing style is clear and accessible, even to those new to the topic. Casual readers, scholars, and lovers of musical theater should consider themselves lucky to have this informative and engaging set. Manya Chylinski, Ctr. for Business Knowledge, Ernst & Young, Boston
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The author of The British Musical Theatre (Oxford, 1987) and G„nzl's Book of the Musical Theatre (Schirmer, 1989) shares his passion in this international compendium. Here are approximately 2,700 entries for performers, composers, writers, and shows; some producers, directors, choreographers, and designers are included as well. The scope is the text-based musical (no opera, pantomines, or revues) as performed in Britain, Europe, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While the choice of entries is ultimately idiosyncratic, G„nzl sought subjects most widely known internationally. This means there are no entries for such well-known American performers as Stubby Kaye and Robert Alda while many obscure nineteenth-century European performers are covered.

Entries are generally at least two paragraphs in length and can be as long as three pages (e.g., for Richard Rogers, Franz von Supp{‚}e) and start with a brief identifier (e.g., "Musical comedy in 2 acts by Harold Atteridge"). For people, basic biographical information is given with lists of the musicals in which they were involved. When available, biographies or autobiographies are listed. Plot summaries and international performance history are given for musicals. Film adaptations are described, and some recordings and books are cited. The 315 black-and-white illustrations include cast shots and covers of playbills and sheet music. The arrangement is alphabetical; cross-references and an index are lacking.

G„nzl's introduction indicates that he collects everything he can find on musicals but also does library and archive research to verify his facts. The writing here is informal and slangy, often in a British vein. For example, the article on Casanova comments "on those allegedly rare occasions when he was not out putting it about."

Other reference books on musical theater are more narrow in scope (Bordman's American Musical Theater, 2d ed. [RBB Jl 92]; Stanley Green's Encyclopedia of the Musical Theater [Da Capo, 1980]; Swain's The Broadway Musical [Oxford, 1990]) and may suffice in many public libraries. G„nzl's Book of the Musical Theatre covers 300 shows from seven countries in much greater detail than this encyclopedia. The coverage in this new set is wide, and articles are readable and informative. Although seemingly adequately researched, it is not written in a scholarly style. An index and/or cross-references would have greatly increased access to the information. This is a must for music collections and is worth considering for academic and large public libraries. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2274 pages
  • Publisher: Schirmer; 2 edition (May 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028649702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028649702
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 12.5 x 18.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 16.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,567,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The most complete and interesting of the books on world-wide musical theatre from about 1865 until 1990. Ganzl (whom I've met personally) is always humorous as well as accurate.
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