Portal:Musical theatre

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Musical theatre portal

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Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining music, songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole.

Musical theatre works, usually referred to as "musicals", are performed around the world. They may be presented in large venues, such as big budget West End and Broadway theatre productions in London and New York City, or in smaller Off-Broadway or regional productions, on tour, or by amateur groups in schools, theatres and other performance spaces. In addition to Britain and the U.S., there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in Germany, Austria, Philippines, France, Canada, Japan, Eastern Europe, Australia, and other countries.

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Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of the "rock musical", utilizing a racially-integrated cast and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-in" finale.

Hair tells the story of the "tribe", a group of politically active, long-haired "Hippies of the Age of Aquarius" fighting against conscription to the Vietnam War and living a bohemian life together in New York City. They struggle to balance their young lives, loves and the sexual revolution with their pacifist rebellion against the war and the conservative impulses of their parents and society.

After an off-Broadway debut in October 1967 at Joseph Papp's Public Theater and another run in a midtown discothèque space, the show opened on Broadway in April 1968 and ran for 1,750 performances, followed by a successful London production, which ran for 1,997 performances. Numerous productions have been staged around the world since then, and numerous recordings of the musical have been released. Several of the songs from its score became Top 40 hits, and a successful movie adaptation was released in 1979.

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Stephen Joshua Sondheim (b. March 22, 1930) is widely seen as his generation's leading writer of the stage musical. Described by Frank Rich in The New York Times as "the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater," he is one of the few people to win an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards (seven, more than any other composer), multiple Grammy Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. His most famous scores include (as composer/lyricist) A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, A Little Night Music, Follies, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and Sunday in the Park with George, as well as the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy.

Stephen Sondheim was born to Herbert and Janet ("Foxy") Sondheim, in New York City, New York, and grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and later on a farm in Pennsylvania. Herbert was a dress manufacturer and Foxy designed the dresses. While his mother had grown up in an Orthodox Jewish family, Sondheim had no formal religious education or association, did not have a Bar Mitzvah, and reportedly did not set foot in a synagogue until he was 19. An only child of well-to-do parents living in a high-rise apartment on Central Park West, Sondheim's childhood has been portrayed as isolated and emotionally neglected in Meryl Secrest's biography, Sondheim: A Life.

Sondheim traces his interest in theater to Very Warm for May, a Broadway musical he saw at the age of nine. "The curtain went up and revealed a piano," Sondheim recalled. "A butler took a duster and brushed it up, tinkling the keys. I thought that was thrilling."

When Stephen was 10 years old, his father Herbert, a distant figure in Stephen's life, abandoned him and his mother. Under the laws of the day, Sondheim's mother retained full custody. Unfortunately for young Stephen, he saw his mother "Foxy Sondheim" as narcissistic, emotionally abusive, and a hypochondriac. Stephen "famously despised" Foxy; he once wrote a thank-you note to close friend Mary Rodgers that read, "Dear Mary and Hank, Thanks for the plate, but where was my mother's head? Love, Steve." When Foxy died on September 15th 1993, Sondheim refused to attend her funeral.....

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The original illustration by Émile Bayard, upon which is based the ubiquitous logo of Les Misérables.

Les Misérables (pronunciation /le mi ze 'ʀɑHb/), colloquially known as Les Mis, is a musical composed in 1980 by French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg on a libretto by Alain Boublil. Through-sung, it is perhaps the most famous of all French musicals and one of the most famous and most performed musicals worldwide. On October 8, 2006, the show celebrated its 21st anniversary and became the longest-running West End musical in history and is still running (though it has changed venues). The musical is based on the novel Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. Its Tony award-winning score includes the songs "I Dreamed a Dream", "Do You Hear the People Sing?", "One Day More", "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" and "On My Own." Another popular song is "Master of the House".

Les Mis tells the stories of paroled convict Jean Valjean who, failing attempts to find work as an honest man with his yellow parole note, tears up his shackles and conceals his identity in order to live his life again; the police inspector Javert, who becomes obsessed with finding Valjean; Fantine, the single mother of Cosette, who is forced to become a prostitute to support her daughter; Marius, a French student who falls in love with Valjean's adopted daughter Cosette; Eponine, the young daughter of the Thénardiers who falls in love with Marius; the Thénardiers, who own an Inn and exploit their customers; and Enjolras and the other students, who are working toward freeing the oppressed lower class of France.

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