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Oklahoma

Plot Summery:Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, this musical tells the story of two pairs of lovers. Curly is a cowboy who has trouble admitting his feelings to Laurey, as she does to him, because of their stubbornness. Judd, the hired hand at Laurey's farm, tries to come between them. Ado Annie is torn between Will, a cowboy who has strong feelings for her, and Ali Hakim, a peddler who's a ladies' man and doesn't want to marry her.

Rodgers and Hammerstiens Debut in 1943.

Shows Integration: Rounded and Deep Charecters 
First book Musical

Involves a dream Ballet Sequence

The opening "Oh what a beautiful morning" starting the singin off stage which is unusual at the time, give it a more film like feel.

Could be seen as a developed play

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A Chorus Line

Kleban + Hamlisch 1975

Workshops rather than tryouts which was more popular for plays than shows.

Sharing of stories. Nicholas Dante writes a book (Charecter is Paul)

Dubious concept but has a 15 year run, Subplot is what holds it together

Dnace is significant, seen as a charecter.

More of a concept than a story, the show looks at a chorus line of hopefuls trying to get into the chorus for a new show. From a stageful at the outset the group are whittled down to around 17 who undertake the rest of the 'story'.

The 'story' comprises each performer giving a personal testimonial of an episode from their past - basically a series of isolated song and dance routines - before the true audition number, "One".

The final chosen few are selected and the curtain closes.

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Showboat

1927 (Same year as the release of the Jazz singer)
Music: Kern, Lyrics: Hammerstein
Based on a Novel - new challenges for theatre
Integration with both cast and musical narative
Deals with controversial issues: Mixed cast, all of black parts played by black people except form the part of Queenie
Jullie's Song has jazzy sound to represent her background, Leitmotif to represent diffrent Charecters
Not really musical comedy or operetta, Widely Acknowledged as th first american musical and the start of the broadway musical. 
Plot Summery:Captain Andy and his wife Parthy Ann run the showboat “Cotton Blossom” on the Mississippi River (river gets seen as a charecter). Magnolia meets Gaylord Ravenal and they fall in love. Meanwhile Queenie, a black maid, grows suspicious of Julie, the showboat’s leading lady,. It transpires that Julie is the daughter of mixed parents and is sent from the showboat Magnolia and Ravenal step in as the leading couple and their partnership is confirmed. Some years later Gaylord and Magnolia reflect on their life together, but he loses all his money through gambling and leaves her. She tries to get a job at a nightclub where Julie happens to work. Julie sacrifices what is left of her career (and probably her life too, Steve left her) to help Magnolia get a start. Captain Andy finds Magnolia and persuades her to return to the Cotton Blossom with him. At the very end an aged Gaylord returns to the showboat where Magnolia welcomes him.

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Porgy and Bess

Plot Summery -The action is set in the black community of Catfish Row, a noisy, dangerous place. Crown stabs a fellow gambler to death and runs away, leaving the crippled Porgy to get together with Crown’s wife, Bess. There is a picnic at which the drug peddler Sportin’ Life tells everyone about his rather cynical views on the bible. Crown appears at the picnic, fights with Porgy and is killed when Porgy stabs him with his own knife. Porgy is sent to jail. On his release he discovers that Sportin’ Life has taken Bess to New York so he sets out on his goat-cart to get her.

Issues around Whether is it a musical or an opera

based on "Porgy" by Dubose Heyward

Al Jolson - had a big part in the Jazz Singer, Attempted to create his own version of Porgy in black face.

Had a 4.30 running time and 700+ page score of the first final version.

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Parade

Jason Robert Brown

Genre: Could be described as a musical play with a classical style but not neccisairly a classical sound. Concept Elements, the telling of a true story.

Themes:Radical/Religious tensions, American North/South divide, Politics Religion and the meida

Plot:Parade tells the heart-wrenching, true story of Leo Frank: a Brooklyn-raised Jewish man living in Atlanta who was wrongfully convicted of the **** and murder of his thirteen-year-old employee, Mary Phagan, in 1913. Because Frank’s trial was replete with faulty testimony and lacked any clear evidence, Georgia’s governor eventually commuted his sentence from death to life imprisonment. Despite this ruling, a lynch mob hanged Frank in Mary Phagan’s hometown of Marietta, Georgia. The momentous case drew national attention to Anti-Semitism, and was pivotal to the founding of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as well as the reviving of the Ku Klux Klan in the South. With a characteristically rich, intricate, and wide-ranging score penned by Jason Robert Brown, and a bold willingness to dive into the complexities of early 20th century social relationships in the South, Parade is a sophisticated, dark tale with endless depths for a highly skilled company of actors and musicians.

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Hair

MacDermott, Ragni and Rado

Seen as the First rock musical, but is it?

Started off is basic venue then grew.

Clive Barnes influential
First of a New Genre

Draws on 30's comedy with jazz and blues been popular at the time.

Plot:There is almost no story at all to this show. Set at the start of the age of Aquarius, it centres on Claude and his friend Berger, whose mission in life seems to be to avoid being drafted to Vietnam and to have as good a time as possible. They decide to burn their draft cards, but Claude has second thoughts and retrieves his from the fire. His drug-induced hallucinations are filled with images of war and he realises that cannot escape the draft. In any case the thought of it has removed all of the happiness from his life. He answers the draft and returns to his friends in his army uniform, but they cannot see him. The closing scene sees Claude, dressed in his uniform, lying centre stage on a black cloth.

The musical is called Hair because of Claude’s assertion near the start that the only thing of value he has, other than his freedom, is his hair.

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Cabaret

Kander and Ebb
Known as the First Concept Musical.
Show within a show
Start of a new age?
Not a Happy Ending

Plot Summery:Cliff Bradshaw, an American writer, travels by train to Berlin where he rents a room from Fraulein Schneider. At a local bar, the Kit Kat Klub, he meets an English girl who works there, Sally Bowles. The following day she moves in with him. Cliff is giving a new German friend, Ernst Ludwig, English lessons and Ernst asks him if he will collect a package from Paris for him. Although he is dubious – the errand almost certainly involves smuggling currency – Cliff accepts as he and Sally need money to get married.

The landlady, Fraulein Schneider, is set to marry Herr Schultz, a Jewish greengrocer, but when Ernst arrives at their party wearing a Nazi armband Cliff realises the true nature of his errand and refuses Ernst’s payment. Sally, however, takes it. Cliff prepares to leave for America and is angry to find that Sally has returned to the Kit Kat Klub. When Ernst approaches him about another trip Cliff hits him and returns home. The following day Sally appears at Cliffs with two pieces of crushing news – she has had an abortion (it was his baby) and she is not going to America with him. She has become a part of the false Cabaret world, something Cliff cannot and will not become or accept. Cliff leaves Berlin on the train, alone, and the Cabaret’s MC (Master of Ceremonies) closes the show.

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Guys and Dolls

Music and Lyrics: Frank Losser

Bassed on a book called Charlies Aunt

Musical Style: Jazzy style with classical links, links with Gospel, showing integrationg of musical styles. Losser uses diffrent rhythms to represent the charecters

Two main lead couples: Sky and Sarah and Nathan and Adalaide

Successer to Pal Joey (also based on short stories)

Plot Summery:The action centres around Nathan Detroit who runs an illegal floating **** game, and Sky Masterson, the biggest gambler of them all. Sky bets Nathan that he can take any doll Nathan chooses to Havana with him, and when Nathan chooses Sergeant Sarah Brown of the local Salvation Army the scene is set. Despite initial resistance, Sarah agrees to accompany Sky in order to save her branch of the mission – he agrees in return to fill the mission with sinners for the big prayer meeting at which the Salvation Army General will be present. On his return from Havana, Sky visits Nathan’s **** game and bets each gambler $1000 against their souls on a single dice roll. He wins and they are forced to attend the prayer meeting, allowing Sky to fulfil his half of the bargain. Ultimately all ends well as Sky joins the Salvation Army and marries Sarah, and Nathan finally marries Adelaide, his show-girl fiancée of fourteen years.

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West Side Story

Was origionally going to be East side story about Jews and Catholics basing it around romeo and juliet 
People involved: Laurents, Bernstein, Robbins + 8 Years + Sondehiem. 
Integrated musical - Big deman on cast, must be able to sing dance and act
Musical fusion: Classical background the diffrent latin and jazzy sounds represent the people coming together as weel as showing the diffrent gangs.

Plot Summery:This retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet replaces the warring families with street gangs. The Jets, white self-styled Americans and the Sharks, immigrant Peurto Ricans, battle it out for ownership of the street of Manhattan’s Upper West Side in New York. Tony, Riff’s best friend and a former Jet, meets Maria, Bernardo’s younger sister, and they fall in love. Tony secretly meets with Maria, Blinded by anger at his best friend’s death, Tony stabs Bernardo with Riff’s knife and the interval curtain comes down on two corpses as police sirens are heard and the gangs flee the scene. Maria is thinking about her future with Tony when she hears of the bloodshed and when Tony comes to her she tries to hate him, but can’t. As she prepares to leave, the police arrive to question Maria about Bernardo’s death, so she pleads with his girlfriend, Anita to take a message to Tony that she is on her way. She agrees, but at Doc’s store the Jets taunt and attack her, only stopping when Doc (who represents Friar Lawrence) appears. In anger Anita tells them that Chino found out about Tony and Maria and shot Maria, and when Tony hears this he runs into the street calling for Chino to kill him too. Maria appears, they see each other and Tony realises that Anita lied, but at that moment Chino appears and shoots Tony.

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