Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What is Wrong with The Broadway Musical Article Discussion | All Paper

Before completing this assignment please read the four articles. Please use some of their points in your response. Here is what a recent article in the Wall StreetJournall said:“What’s Wrong With the Broadway Musical?” by The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout – “When I last wrote about the decline of the Broadway musical in this space nine years ago, I cited the growing dominance of the commodity musical as the No. 1 problem facing the genre. I still see these shows as roadblocks that stand in the way of fresh creative thinking. But I now regard them as a symptom, not a cause. The real problem goes deeper.Broadway musicals were central to American pop culture well into the ’60s. Their songs were played on the radio and performed on top-rated TV variety shows, and in due course the best of these shows were turned into hit movies. … Back then, everybody from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley to Ray Charles sang show tunes. … Once our common culture started cracking up, it was inevitable that the Broadway musical would lose its creative footing. “Fiddler on the Roof,” the last indisputably great golden-age musical, opened in 1964, six months after the Beatles made their fateful appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Within a couple of years, show tunes had vanished from Top-40 stations, never to return. …A half-century later, Broadway is still trying—and failing—to catch up with the Beatles. … In the meantime, America’s common culture has disintegrated: No particular style of music appeals strongly to more than a fraction of the public at large. As a result, there is no longer a universal language in which artistically ambitious musicals can be written … That’s why producers embrace the commodity musical, with its built-in audience of fans: It’s the safest way to draw a crowd big enough to turn a profit.I continue to believe in the creative promise of the large-scale musical. … And wonderful though it has been to witness the well-deserved successes of “Hamilton” and “The Band’s Visit,” I won’t feel good about the American musical again until Broadway figures out new ways to produce really big shows that are equally appealing to a rising generation of serious-minded theatergoers.” have read what critics (and I) have guessed will be the future of musical theatre. Using sound files, photo imagery, concert footage, or more…, describe what you think would best connect to a current audience of people between the ages 15 and 30. How can someone in the future better tell a story using music, dance, and acting? What must change? What must be enhanced or altered?Must be MLA format!Rubic is provided below.





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2 Cast Albums Hit Billboard Top 20 for the First Time in 50 Years | Playbill

2 Cast Albums Hit Billboard Top 20 for the
First Time in 50 Years
FEB 17, 2017
See which Broadway recordings are giving pop stars a run
for their money.
The cast of Dear Evan Hansen (Matthew Murphy)
Further evidence of a second Broadway golden age: For the rst time in 52 years two Broadway cast albums are
holding places in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
2 Cast Albums Hit Billboard Top 20 for the First Time in 50 Years | Playbill
For the charts dated February 25, Billboard reported that the OBC album of Dear Evan Hansen rose to No. 8, while
perennial performer Hamilton held steady at No. 13.
Billboard says the “Biillboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall
consumption. That overall unit gure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming
equivalent albums (SEA).”
The newly released Dear Evan Hansen sold 29,000 “equivalent album units” in the week ending February 9, while
Hamilton, which was released well over a year ago, still managed to sell 25,000 equivalent album units the same
Billboard reported that the last time this conjunction occurred was in 1965, when the OBCs of Hello, Dolly! and
Fiddler on the Roof stayed in the Top 20 for 11 consecutive weeks, between January 16 and March 27.
With a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Dear Evan Hansen is just the fourth OBC to crack the Billboard top
10 in a half century. The others have been Hair, which hit No. 1 in 1969; The Book of Mormon, which rose to No. 3
in 2011; and Hamilton, which also topped out at No. 3, in 2016.
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AMERICAN THEATRE | Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent
Samantha Barks and Steve Kazee in the pre-Broadway tryout of”Pretty Woman” at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago. (Photo by Matthew Murphy)
Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the
Season of Our Discontent
Is this really the right time for a spate of male-authored, male-directed musicals about
subservient women to come to Broadway?

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

AMERICAN THEATRE | Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent
Last November, composer Georgia Stitt tweeted out the following:
Georgia Stitt
With respect to the creatives who will be employed by these
projects, I will say I’m concerned about a Broadway season that
at the same time. In 2017 is the correct message really “women
are there to be rescued”?
10:03 AM – Nov 22, 2017
236 people are talking about this
That tweet got 180 retweets and 755 likes. It seems many were in agreement about the
optics: In a #MeToo world, where women are still severely underrepresented on the creative
teams of Broadway shows—and really, on teams all across the American theatre—is now
really the time to put up these socially regressive works, written by men, in 2018? (A revival
of Kiss Me, Kate is slated for 2019.)
Indeed, it’s a trend so problematic that it merited a New York Times piece about how
directors, producers, and actors are hoping to overcome or mitigate the misogyny and
retrograde gender relations in those works. Stitt, quoted in the piece, elaborated further on
her objections: “It’s frustrating that the material people seem to want to throw their energy
into is old properties where women have no agency, and then there is the real scarcity of
women on the creative teams.” She added pointedly, “And are these the shows I’m going to
take my 12-year-old daughter to?”
One element of Stitt’s objections stood out to me, and it was something I wish Michael
Paulson’s Times article had interrogated: the scarcity of women on the creative teams. All of
the musicals in question were created exclusively by white men (save for Bella Spewack, who
co-wrote the Kiss Me, Kate book), and this time around they are also all directed by white
men. The design teams announced so far are also all white and male (with the predictable
exception of a rogue female costume designer). And the speaking roles in all of these shows
greatly favor men over women.

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

AMERICAN THEATRE | Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent
Whether or not these reinventions will be successful is up in the air. Pretty Woman book
writer J.F. Lawton told the Chicago Tribune he wanted to turn the musical, about a prostitute
who is saved from poverty by a rich businessman, into “an allegory of self-empowerment for
But there is one question that has been lingering both for me and many other women in and
around the theatre: If we’re going to stage these retrograde works and “reinvent” them for
the 21st century, why are men the only ones being given the opportunity to do the rethinking
—to give these old properties a “feminist twist”? Are male artists the only ones who get to
de ne feminism in theatre in 2018?
Those questions bother director Leigh Silverman as well. She’s no stranger to reinventions of
problematic musicals: Her 2016 Off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity, starring Sutton
Foster, gave some shades of gray to a formerly bubbly character.
“We’ve made great strides in theatre in Off-Broadway and in the regions in terms of putting
the women in charge, either in charge of big shows or in charge of whole theatres,” Silverman
says. By contrast, on Broadway, producers still hold the purse strings and make the hiring
decisions. “If you have white male producers, they’re more than likely to hire white male
directors, who are more than likely to hire white male creative teams. There’s a much less
kind of interest in taking a chance on a woman, and believing that a woman can helm a giant
show,” lamented Silverman, who adds that she’s always wanted to take a stab at Kiss Me, Kate;
the 2019 Broadway revival will be directed by Scott Ellis.
The numbers bear Silverman out: This season, out of the 34 shows that will have opened on
Broadway, only 8 credit female directors (one of those is a double—Marianne Elliott’s twopart Angels in America—and another is a half credit, Susan Stroman’s co-credit with Harold
Prince on Prince of Broadway).* Five musicals feature women on their creative teams, and two
female playwrights are represented. (Broadway’s unof cial resident directors seem to be
Joe Mantello and Casey Nicholaw, who in May will both have three shows running
simultaneously on Broadway.)
Many would say that talent comes in all genders, and that includes directors. “Of course men
can direct women,” exclaims Silverman. “And of course they can have a feminist point of view,
and they can want full, whole women with plenty of integrity and aws and humanity. It’s not

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

AMERICAN THEATRE | Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent
that men can’t do that. It’s just when only men are being hired for the job—that’s when it gets
After all, it wasn’t a female playwright who was asked by a Broadway producer to write
about the #MeToo Movement; it was David Mamet.
To me, it’s even worse when those men coopt feminist language to sell their shows. Recently
Playbill ran an article with the unfortunate headline: “Bartlett Sher directs My Fair Lady for
the #MeToo era.” Sher explains that his version of the musical “leans toward Eliza and what
Eliza goes through. She chooses to go and learn. She chooses to take her life in her hands and
get out of her situation and challenge the conventions around her.”
That’s all loverly, but that’s not what #MeToo is about. As director Liesl Tommy tells me,
“#MeToo means women who are willing to talk about their sexual harassment, about them
being raped—that’s what what means. It’s not a fucking theme for a play.”
And it’s not marketing copy to sell a show.
I’ve noticed this phenomenon a lot lately: When it comes to marketing their productions,
creative teams will sometimes cite contemporary social movements to give relevance to
their shows.
About Kiss Me, Kate, the Times wrote:
The #MeToo movement will clearly affect the production. [Director Scott Ellis] led a
bene t reading in 2016, and said he and the cast had already decided that they did
not see the ultimate reconciliation between Fred and Lilli as him subduing her.
“These are two extremely strong people, who are jockeying throughout the show,”
Mr. Ellis said. “How do we keep strength on both sides?”
#MeToo isn’t just about outing men as abusers. It’s also about dismantling a system that has
forced women to be silent—about giving women space and resources, and protection, to do
our work and tell our stories.
It shouldn’t be used to give problematic musicals contemporary relevance, or to sell tickets
to a show, or to effectively keep women out of positions of power. This is performative

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

AMERICAN THEATRE | Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent
wokeness: producers and directors giving lip service to the idea of diversity and equality, but
doing very little to actually further the cause by, you know, hiring more women on their
creative teams for shows about sexism and women, or people of color for shows about race.
Of course, women and POCs should have many more chances to work on all kinds of shows—
but if they’re not even given the chance to work on shows ostensibly about them, what
message does that send?
“Diversity is not necessarily warm and cuddly,” Pulitzer-winning playwright Quiara Alegría
Hudes tells me. “It means getting in a room with people who may challenge your
assumptions.” She also adds: “We have the directors ready for Broadway. Women and POCs.”
Emily Padgett, Sutton Foster, and Asmeret Ghebremichael in Leigh Silverman’s 2016 staging of “Sweet Charity” at the New Group. (Photo by
Monique Carboni)
In 2015, Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron made history as the rst all-female musical writing
team to win a Tony Award, for Fun Home. In 2016, Liesl Tommy made history as the rst
woman of color to be nominated for a Tony Award for play direction. Those sound like
empowering milestones until you re ect that Tony Awards have been around since 1947; it
took 69 years for them to give it to an all-female musical team. Diving deeper in Broadway
history, I discovered that it took 52 years for a female director to win best director for a play
or musical (Julie Taymor and Garry Hynes, both in 1998). And it took until 2016 for a work to
appear on Broadway with an all-female creative team (Waitress**). It is shameful that it took

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

AMERICAN THEATRE | Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent
so long for these milestones to appear, and that the status quo continues to be shifting so
slowly, if at all.
In the history of the American theatre, for the most part, men have dictated the terms of
womanhood, of how women should live and act. They’ve done it to various degrees of
success, but they were still given the opportunities and the resources to do so. And the canon
that they gave us, with their vision of womanhood—in all of its rescue-needing, abuse-taking
glory—still reigns supreme.
What kinds of stories are women telling when given the resources? They’re telling the story
of a lesbian discovering her identity (Fun Home), an abused waitress leaving her husband
(Waitress), a mother and her daughter reconciling (Miss You Like Hell, currently at the Public
Theater). They’re new, they’re complex, they speak to womanhood now, and—producers
should love this—they sell tickets.
There’s a wealth of stories to tell about women. If we’re going to have all these problematic
revivals, let’s at least make room for women to reinvent them—and tell other stories too. Of
course men can have opinions on women and our lives. But considering that these vintage
works were written and created by men, that gender has already done all the talking. It’s
time to let women talk back.
*A previous version of the story had these numbers as 19 shows and 2 female directors.
**A previous version of the story erroneously stated that Eclipsed was the rst show on Broadway
to have an all-female creative team. That was the musical Waitress, also in 2016. But Eclipsed did
make history because it was the rst show to be written and directed by a woman which also
starred an entirely female cast.
Props for a No-Props ‘Carousel’ at
Arena Stage
June 2, 2017
5 Artistic Directors in Search of the
Perfect Theatre Season
September 23, 2017

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

Women Push for Equality On and
Off Stage
September 17, 2014
In “Paywall”
AMERICAN THEATRE | Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent
In “Feature”

Kiss Me, My Fair Carousel Woman: Now Is the Season of Our Discontent

In “Feature”

Are We Living in a New Golden Age of Musical Theatre? | Playbill

Are We Living in a New Golden Age of
Musical Theatre?
FEB 23, 2016
It’s not just you—musical theatre is better than ever
Are We Living in a New Golden Age of Musical Theatre? | Playbill
omehow, when we weren’t looking, it became cool to be a musical theatre fan. No longer
relegated to a “niche market,” musical theatre has captured the national spotlight in recent
years. Movie musicals are now a staple of Hollywood’s peak holiday release season—with Into
the Woods debuting Christmas Day of 2014 and Les Misérables garnering unprecedented attention for live
singing on Christmas 2012. The 85th Academy Awards included a 12-minute tribute to movie musicals,
in honor of the 10th anniversary of Chicago, which ushered in a resurgence of the bygone art form. Live
broadcast musicals for the small screen have become the next frontier. Television series have gotten into
the musical game, too, with shows like Nashville and Empire writing original music for stories about the
country and hip hop worlds, plus a traditional musical comedy series in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which earned a
nod for its leading lady at this year’s Golden Globes. The production of Disney-animated musicals is back
in full swing—and boomeranging to the stage—while pop songwriters compose musical scores.
This is all without mention of the Hamilton juggernaut that earned Broadway an ever-present spot in the
pop culture conversation—its creator and stars appearing everywhere from the the pages of Vogue and
GQ to the browsers of New York Magazine’s Vulture. Not to mention the evolution in storytelling
happening on Broadway stages, from Fun Home’s coming-of-age narrative to immersive Off-Broadway
experiences like Here Lies Love. It proves that the art form itself, along with its popularity, has hit new
heights. Musical theatre is a larger part of the mainstream entertainment zeitgeist than ever before. Does
this wave of prominence for the musical mean that we are in a new Golden Age—a “Platinum Age”—of
musical theatre?
Are We Living in a New Golden Age of Musical Theatre? | Playbill
The most recent ground of innovation (and competition) is TV’s live musical broadcasts. The live musical
on television wasn’t born in the last few years, but it has certainly returned to glory in this decade. During
the 1950s, NBC aired a series called Producers’ Showcase, consisting of many live musicals and plays,
including Peter Pan with Mary Martin and a musical version of Our Town. Not since that era has the live
television musical spent so much time on our screens.
Under the leadership of producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, NBC began broadcasting live musicals
again in 2013, with The Sound of Music Live! In recent years, they’ve also given us Peter Pan Live! and The
Wiz Live!, and now Fox is getting into the game, with broadcasts of Grease: Live and the upcoming The
Rocky Horror Show.
Meron and Zadan produced musicals for television even before that, with taped versions of Annie,
Cinderella, The Music Man and Gypsy speci cally for the small screen, as well as the television show
Smash. “The usual school of thought,” Meron says, “[used to be] that Broadway was rari ed and people
[had] to travel to get that experience. [That is] why everyone always thought there was a limited audience
in terms of Broadway product.”
Meron went on to credit the vision of NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt for recognizing that
aspect of Broadway has changed. “With the advent of musicals like Phantom, Les Misérables, Rent,
Wicked, and others, [that] tour extensively, [the appreciation for musicals] started trickling down [more]
into community theatre and school theatre.” He surmises that these tours cultivated an audience that
Are We Living in a New Golden Age of Musical Theatre? | Playbill
then supported musical theatre on television—and that the two continue to feed each other.
Laura Benanti, Stephen Moyer and Christian Borle in The Sound of Music Live! (NBC)
Laura Benanti, the Tony Award-winning actress who starred as Elsa Schräder in The Sound Of Music Live!
agrees that the broadcasts create new theatregoers. “I know many fans of Carrie [Underwood, who
starred as Maria] tuned in without knowing much about theatre, and became fans. Neil Meron and Craig
Zadan have had a major in uence in bringing theatre to the masses and right into people’s homes.”
In a completely unprecedented move, The Wiz Live! may be the rst-ever piece to go the route from live
television broadcast to Broadway. Plans are in place for a stage version of NBC’s production to premiere
on Broadway in the 2017 season. Bombshell, one of the ctional musicals from Smash, is also set to be
realized as a full stage production after its successful Actors Fund concert. The increasing pervasiveness
of musical theatre on television generates more product for Broadway.
How did this meteoric rise of musicals on television happen? “We forced the musical down people’s
throats,” Zadan acknowledges. “There were no TV musicals until we did Bette Midler Gypsy, and the
success of that opened the door for us to do the rest. There were no feature lm musicals being done
until we did Chicago, and after [that], everyone …
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