Rowman & Littlefield
The Complete Book of 1930s Broadway Musicals by Dan Dietz Summary
Despite the stock market crash of October 1929, thousands of theatregoers still flocked to the Great White Way throughout the country’s darkest years. In keeping with the Depression and the events leading up to World War II, 1930s Broadway was distinguished by numerous political revues and musicals, including three by George Gershwin (Strike Up the Band, Of Thee I Sing, and Let ’Em Eat Cake). The decade also saw the last musicals by Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Vincent Youmans; found Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in full flower; and introduced both Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen’s music to Broadway. In The Complete Book of 1930s Broadway Musicals, Dan Dietz examines in detail every musical that opened on Broadway from 1930 through 1939. This book discusses the era’s major successes, notorious failures, and musicals that closed during their pre-Broadway tryouts. It includes such shows as Anything Goes, As Thousands Cheer, Babes in Arms, The Boys from Syracuse, The Cradle Will Rock, The Green Pastures, Hellzapoppin, Hot Mikado, Porgy and Bess, Roberta, and various editions of Ziegfeld Follies. Each entry contains the following information: Plot summary Cast members Names of all important personnel, including writers, composers, directors, choreographers, producers, and musical directors Opening and closing dates Number of performances Critical commentary Musical numbers and the performers who introduced the songs Production data, including information about tryouts Source material Details about London and other foreign productions Besides separate entries for each production, the book offers numerous appendixes, including a discography, filmography, and list of published scripts, as well as lists of black-themed and Jewish-themed productions. This comprehensive book contains a wealth of information and provides a comprehensive view of each show. The Complete Book of 1930s Broadway Musicals will be of use to scholars, historians, and casual fans of one of the greatest decades in musical theatre history.