Broadway Musicals: Social Issues And Musicality

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Broadway Musicals: Social Issues and Musicality



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Table of Contents


Aim of the Research1



Research Design4

Literature Search4




Chapter 1: Introduction

Broadway Musicals attract many different types of individuals, some from intellectual growth and others who are interested in entertainment. Social issues have been intertwined into the themes from early Broadway Shows and continue to do so today. The questioned has been raised how the Broadway Shows of yester years differ from those more recently produced. I will look at the history of Broadway, the music and how the shows and music have evolved.

While Broadway productions may be produced decades apart, each are relevant to their times. That is to say Broadway musicals can educate and entertain at the same time. Throughout the history of Broadway social issues have been a predominant theme. The Broadway musical defines our culture and is in turn defined by it. The musical tells stories in music, lyrics, dialogue, performance and dance .Each is a potential cultural indicator itself, put together, they provide a frequently brash and sometimes a thoughtful, deep portrait of America. Early musicals always reflected a compelling story, indicative of trends and tensions in popular culture. The musicals of years ago and today reflect different social and political forces, patriotism, skepticism, commercial consumption, escapism, revolt and globalization and have been put on stage for everyone to see.

Aim of the Research

The aim of this research is to analyse how social issues have influenced Broadway musicals over the time.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Musicals have a reputation in some quarters as being light, happy and optimistic in tone. This is certainly true of many musicals, but by no means all. Musical comedy has been a grand American tradition, but the trend in recent years has been away from the comic and toward the darker side of the human experience. The generic substance of a musical can be anything: a comedy as in Kiss Me Kate, a melodrama as in Oklahoma, a tragedy as in Evita, even a satire as in Chicago.

Musical is the name by which we recognize a twentieth-century phenomenon, but the English 'ballad' operas of the eighteenth century attracted a broad public and were certainly the 'musicals' of their day.

In the one hundred or so years of its development, the musical has assumed so many different forms in so many different styles that an all-encompassing definition is ...
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