When Broadway Went to Hollywood

When Broadway Went to Hollywood

Book - 2016
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By the late 1920s, Broadway was thriving, and New York had produced dozens of prodigious songwriting talents: Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Frank Loesser, and Jerry Herman, to name a few. When The Jazz Singer became the first film to integrate synchronized music in 1927, many ambitious pioneers of the Great White Way were enticed westward by the studios' promises of national exposure and top dollar success. But what happens when writers native to the business of Broadway run into the very different business of Hollywood? Hollywood had its producer despots, its stacking of writing teams on a single project, its use of five or six songs per story where Broadway fit in a dozen, and it was uncomfortable with characters bursting into song on the street, your living room, or "a cottage small by a waterfall." Did the movies give theatre writers a chance to expand their art, or did mass marketing ruin the musical's quintessential charm? Is it possible to trace the history of the musical through both stage and screen manifestations, or did Broadway and Hollywood give rise to two wholly irreconcilable art forms? And, finally, did any New York writer or writing team create a film musical as enthralling and timeless as their work for the stage? In When Broadway Went to Hollywood, writer and celebrated steward of musical theatre Ethan Mordden directs his unmistakable wit and whimsy to these challenging questions and more.
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2016]
ISBN: 9780199395408
Characteristics: ix, 257 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm


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