Portal:Musical theatre

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Introduction

The Black Crook was a hit musical in 1866.

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America. These were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan at the turn of the 20th century. The Princess Theatre musicals (1915–1918) and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing (1931) were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat (1927) and Oklahoma! (1943). Some of the most famous musicals through the decades that followed include West Side Story (1957), The Fantasticks (1960), Hair (1967), A Chorus Line (1975), Les Misérables (1985), The Phantom of the Opera (1986), Rent (1996), The Producers (2001), Wicked (2003) and Hamilton (2015).

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Chicago (musical) is a John Kander and Fred Ebb musical set in prohibition era Chicago. The book is by Ebb and Bob Fosse. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice, and the concept of the "celebrity criminal." The musical is based on a play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins based on actual criminals and crimes she reported on. Chicago's 1996 Broadway revival holds the record for the world's longest-running musical revival on Broadway and, as of June 2007 has played for 4,400 performances.

The original 1975 Broadway production ran for a total of 936 performances and was followed by a production on London's West End. Several touring productions and international productions of Chicago have also been staged. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. A film version of the musical was released in 2002.

Selected biography

Anthony Rapp at BCEFA.jpg

Anthony Dean Rapp (b. October 26, 1971, Chicago) is an American stage and film actor best known for originating the role of Mark Cohen in the Broadway production of Rent in 1996 and later for reprising the same role in the film version. He also performed the role of Charlie Brown in the 1999 Broadway revival of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

He first performed on Broadway in 1981, at the age of ten, in The Little Prince and the Aviator, a musical based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's novel The Little Prince that closed during previews. He also appeared as a teenager in the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting, which was directed by Chris Columbus. Columbus would later direct Rapp in the film version of Rent.

Rapp has gone on to appear in several movies and Broadway shows. His notable work includes films Dazed and Confused where he played one third of a teenaged intellectual triumvirate, A Beautiful Mind as one of John Nash's colleagues, Road Trip as the villainous Greek philosophy TA, Jacob, the stage and film versions of Six Degrees of Separation, as Van Dyke Parks in "An American Family", and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Also in this production was Kristin Chenoweth as Sally Brown.

Rapp is probably best known for playing Mark Cohen in the Off-Broadway and original Broadway casts of Jonathan Larson's musical Rent. He reprised that role in the film version of Rent, which was released on November 23, 2005. Fans of Rent closely associate Rapp with that show, in part because his character is semi-autobiographical of the deceased composer and playwright Jonathan Larson. Rapp has embraced his role as an unofficial spokesperson for the musical and has given numerous television and print interviews regarding the show and its development. Some of Rapp's photographs from rehearsals of Rent have been published.

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Stephanie J. Block as Elphaba flies above the Ozians in Wicked's act one finale; "Defying Gravity".

Wicked is a Tony award-winning American musical produced by Universal Pictures with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Winnie Holzman. The story is loosely based on the best selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. The musical is directed by Joe Mantello, with musical staging by Wayne Cilento.

The musical, following Maguire's novel, is a re-imagining of L. Frank Baum's classic story, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the point of view of the witches of Oz, set mostly prior to Dorothy's arrival from Kansas. The plot also makes several references to the classic 1939 film.

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