History of Music Theatre and Broadway


music theater has its origins dating
back to ancient times in ancient Greece they combined music
with their theater and later the Romans adopted the Greek styles into their
performances in China they had their own genres of theater that would also
involve music in the 1500s a new style of music theater called opera was
created in Italy and became the most popular form of entertainment throughout
Europe for nearly 300 years the next evolution in music theater came in the
late 1800s in New York with the opening of Broadway this genre of music from its
original form continues to be one of the most entertaining styles of performance
art today one of the primary characteristics of
music theater is its ability to adopt adopt means to take on or adjust to new
situations music theater thrives on its ability to adapt to the new musical
trends of the time when opera was first created classical music was used because
that was the most popular style of music at the time most of the singing was also
done in Italian however in 1728 a British composer John GAE
wrote The Beggar’s Opera and changed opera because it was the first opera to
be sung in English this increased the popularity of opera which caused a
demand for more operas to be done in English music theatre as a whole evolved
even more in 1866 when the black crook was premiered as the first Broadway
musical this was the first musical to introduce spoken words between songs and
while the production was a staggering five and a half hours long the musical
was performed in impressive 474 times the success of black crook helped
increase the popularity of Broadway as a whole more musicals were being written
with spoken dialogue between songs and the messages were also very progressive
for the time in 1927 the musical showboat was written to include themes
of racial prejudice the music was also evolving with the times as the 1934
musical anything-goes was the first musical to heavily involve Jazz after the
end of the Great Depression musicals started integrating more staging and
dancing this could be seen in the very influential musical Oklahoma then in
1954 during the early years of the civil rights movement West Side Story was
released which addressed the issues of race prejudice social inequality and
other issues that were very progressive for its time with overwhelming success what makes musicals so special is their
ability to incorporate popular music of the time into a news show from the 1940s
to the mid-1960s musicals use classical or jazz in their shows that all changed
in 1966 when the musical hair became the first to use rock music in the mid-1970s
a new genre called jukebox musicals became popular by making musicals based
off of songs or artists works popular examples of this are Saturday Night
Fever Mamma Mia Jersey Boys and American Idiot
this style of musicals is very effective in promoting old and popular styles of
music and that trend continues to this day another thing that makes musicals so
special is their stories musicals are a chance to create and perform an original
story for the audience to experience with musicals you can experience horror
in the Phantom of the Opera you can feel pain through revolution
like Les Miserable you can relive Disney Classics with The Lion King or
Aladdin learn a different side of evil in wicked or you can have fun learning
about the founding fathers in the American Revolution through the hit
sensation Hamilton there are so many musicals to choose from which always
make musical theatre one of the most enduring genres of music

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