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Introduction: "Let's Start at the Very Beginning..."; 1: ANCIENT TIMES TO 1850 - "Playgoers, I Bid You Welcome!"; 2: CONTINENTAL OPERETTA (1840-1900) - "Typical of France"; 3: AMERICAN EXPLORATIONS (1624-1880) - "The Music of Something Beginning"; 4: GILBERT & SULLIVAN (1880-1900) - "Object All Sublime"; 5: THE BIRTH OF MUSICAL COMEDY (1880-1899) - "It Belong'd To My Father Before I Was Born"; 6: A NEW CENTURY (1900-1913) - "Whisper of How I'm Yearning"; 7: AMERICAN ASCENDANCE (1914-1919) - "In a Class Beyond Compare"; 8: AL JOLSON - "The World's Greatest Entertainer"; 9: THE JAZZ AGE (1920-1929) - "I Want to Be Happy"; 10: DEPRESSION ERA MIRACLES (1930-1940) - "Trouble's Just a Bubble"; 11: A NEW BEGINNING (1940-1950) - "They Couldn't Pick a Better Time"; 12: BROADWAY TAKES STAGE (1950-1963) - "The Street Where You Live"; 13: ROCK ROLLS IN (1960-1970) - "Soon It's Gonna Rain"; 14: NEW DIRECTIONS (1970-1979) - "Vary My Days"; 15: SPECTACLES AND BOARDROOMS - "As If We Never Said Goodbye"; 16: MUSICAL COMEDY RETURNS (The 2000s) - "Where Did We Go Right?"; Suggested Reading: An Annotated Bibliography; Recommended Web Resources.
A native New Yorker and life-long fan of the Musical, John Kenrick is in great demand as an expert on the subject. His Web site www.musicals101.com gets more than 150,000 hits a month.
'A readable, accessible, up-to-date history of musical theatre' Theatre and Performance "A comprehensive history of stage musicals.. .As informative as it is entertaining, Musical Theatreis richly illustrated with anecdotes of shows" The Pass, July & August 2008 "Communications director of New York's York Theatre Company and manager of the Web site musicals101.com...Kenrick demonstrates his considerable knowledge in this enjoyable, well-written volume...Specific examples about particular performers (e.g., Al Jolson) and shows (e.g., Franz Lehar's Merry Widow) enliven the text... A section of photos, most not the usual views, is a modest addition. In place of references, the author lists titles cited in a useful annotated bibliography. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers." -R.D. Johnson, CHOICE, January 2009