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Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater Hardcover – September 6, 2010
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“Throughout, as Stempel traces the evolution with exhaustive archival research, he offers a penetrating and illuminating analysis of various musical forms and influences. Many of the 105 carefully selected black-and-white illustrations are surprising and revelatory. Theater buffs will be delighted to find that this scholarly, definitive work is also a hugely entertaining read.” (Publishers Weekly)
From the Back Cover
“Showtime is a sumptuous banquet of a book. This richly researched history allows us to be present at the birth of the musical theater and to be enthralled witnesses as it develops and metamorphoses into the wealth of forms we now enjoy. A century and a half of entertainment is a vast amount of ground to cover, but Stempel is the ideal tour guide. This is a book to treasure.”―Sheldon Harnick
“Showtime is a substantial work of American music history. Scrupulous but not fussy, learned but not pedantic, Stempel is a fine storyteller who delights in clarity and knows a good joke when he sees one. The precision of his thinking and writing gives the book an aura of authority keenly attuned to the tradition he critiques and celebrates.” ―Richard Crawford, author of America’s Musical Life: A History
“I cannot put Showtime down―and it’s a heavy book! Showtime is my new favorite companion.” ―John Mauceri, chancellor, University of North Carolina School of the Arts
“This is the book we have been waiting for―thoroughly readable and smart, informative and engaging.” ―Ted Chapin, president, Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization
“This is by far the best book ever written about Broadway, a magisterial critical history, which will be required reading for anyone interested in musical theater.” ―Kim H. Kowalke, Eastman School of Music
Top Customer Reviews
I will discuss two examples: Carousel and Gypsy. In Carousel, the author explains that "while Oklahoma developed the moral argument for sending American boys overseas, Carousel offered consolation to those wives and mothers whose boys would only return in spirit." In writing about Gypsy, I learned that it broadened the dramatic scope of musical comedy and turned the conventions of that genre into "the stuff of drama." In other words, "Gypsy says something different and fairly hard to take: that every child eventually has to become responsible for his parents. That you outgrow your parents and then eventually they become your responsibility."
It is the kind of book to sip like a great wine...slowly and carefully to appreciate all the nuances and textures. I think it is a wonderful scholarly treatise that makes the Broadway Musical not only fun, but meaningful in American history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very thorough and well-written review of the history of the Broadway musical. It is highly recommended for those interested in the theater.Published 4 months ago by Larry Gevirtz
my little gird did a project on Broadway and this book sure helpedPublished 15 months ago by lost collar
excellent book purchased it for my son he is taking a Musical Theater History class at collegePublished 22 months ago by Liz
The absolute BEST book I have ever read about Musical Theatre.
I grew up reading Stanley Green's WORLD OF MUSICAL COMEDY
and have read almost every book about Musicals in... Read more
I love this book focuses on the aesthetics of musical theater and the social aspects that surround the times in which musical theater productions were created very educational!Published on September 5, 2013 by marcus
Showtime is a very good book with comprehensive history of the Broadway stage. I would recommend this book highly. Outstanding.Published on January 6, 2013 by John Whelan
I'm not a big fan of this book. Stempel spends too much time in the first third of the book on forms that really don't have much to do with musical theatre as we know it today, and... Read morePublished on December 8, 2010 by Scott E. Miller