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Diane Publishing Books
Beautiful Mornin’: The Broadway Musical in the 1940s
Ethan Mordden (au). The Broadway musical had been running on empty for too long, as a formula for the assembly of spare parts -- star comics, generic love songs, rumba dancers, Ethel Merman. In the 1940s, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” & “Carousel” brought a new approach -- start with strong characters & atmosphere. With vitality & occasionally outrageous humor, Mordden ranges through the Broadway classics of the 1940s -- “Pal Joey,” Lady in the Dark,” “On the Town,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “Brigadoon,” “Kiss Me, Kate,” & “South Pacific.” Also covers illuminating trivia -- “Lute Song,” in which Mary Martin & Nancy Reagan were Chinese. The 1920s created the musical & the 1930s gave it politics. In the 1940s, it found its soul.
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