musical plays all based on the rythme of the text and minimal accompaniment of intrsuments. an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text (called a libretto) and musical score.

Ballad Opera


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combo of new songs and dance and dialogue. short songs, harpsichord leads the string instruments, in English drama, a play of comic, satiric, or pastoral intent, interspersed with songs, most of them sung to popular airs, “Penny Opera” is first ballad opera in 1728



musical elements of opera but is lighter and more popular in subject and style and contains spoken dialogue. a short opera, usually of a light and amusing character. Political and cultural satire with grand opera parodies. Words and music of equal value.

Variety Show


1800s, comedy, dancing, singing, acrobatics, etc.. scandalous lady



Parody, humorous theatrical entertainment involving parody and sometimes grotesque exaggeration and sometimes striptease

Minstrel Show


Interlocutormiddleman the man in the centre of a troupe of minstrels who engages the others in talk or acts as announcer

Black face– when people black their face in theatre

Thomas Rice


first to black his face to act as a black man in theatre (Jim Crowe)

Laura Keene


most famous woman manager, owned theatre that had longest running show in 1850s “Seven Sisters”. Her drama group performed “My First Cousin” in Ford’s theatre where Lincoln was assassinated


William Wheatley


manager of Niblo’s Garden, invented big-time musicals, added fairies to “The Black Crook” which were dancers in tights




clean version of Variety Shows, with 8 acts of music and circus shit: Silent Spot, Family singing/dancing, skit or one act play, a novelty, a semi famous star, intermission, big act with immense scene, headliner, annoying act to clear ppl out
Small time, medium time, big time (broadway)

Lydia Thompson


English actor, dancer and musical producer, first to create all female cast, some acted as men, called British Blondies, “Ixion”, toured the country. Leading actor and dancer in Burlesque in London, brought it to America

Dan Emmett


American songwriter and entertainer, founder of the first troupe of the blackface minstrel tradition. Formed minstrel group of the fiddle (him), bones, banjo, and tambourine which swept the minstrel world

Tin Pan Alley
where music publishers and songwriters worked originally on West 28th street, known for pianists banging out songs in the afternoons
a songwriter who specializes in lyrics, which gives words to music, someone who writes the words to an original piece of music or adds words to already existing music
playwright who is responsible for the story and script, creates the libretto or book for the opera that contains text and dialogue
Flu Epidemic of 1918
“Spanish flu” epidemic killed 3% of world’s poopulation
Actors Equity Strike 1919
Actor’s equity was started in 1913, on August 9th 1919 12 shows lost cast to due walk outs/strikes, in sept. stage hands and musicians walk out, on sept. 6 producers are forced to give into strike, al jolson is against strike. goerge cohan leaves so his partner doesnt get shit on through association
Al Jolson’s Performance Style
very loud and animated, worlds greatest entertainer, blacked his face in 1903 which boosted his talent “Gus”. his presentation was overwhelming. would end show to continue singing
Jazz Age
people act out, shorter skirts, flappers, ragtime, blues and jazz characterizes the songs, “Rosaille” by Gershwin is biggest musical of era, Marilyn miller/ziegfeld production. ppl start to relax, more shows on broadway than any other decade, invention of film, family dinners,
the mixing of races through musical theatre, “Showboat” is good example
Stock Market Crash
oct. 24 1929, ziegfeld loses $3 million in billboard, Shubert bros. go bankrupt, follies shows are extravagent but dont profit
George Edwardes
creates “Dorothy”: poor woman wants to marry high class, rich woman runs away from past life to start anew, inventor of term musical comedies. recognized the changing tastes of musical theatre audiences and led the movement away from burlesque and comic opera to musical comedy. theatre manager including Gaiety theatre in england
Harrigan ; Hart
created comedy act spoofing militias of the time, and also believable characters, made fun of every race, one single continuous plot w/ recognizable and believable characters. presented a wildly popular series of musical plays dealing in comic fashion with the lives of New York’s ethnic groups. The Irish, the Germans, and the African-Americans each had their own chowder-and-marching societies that the humor of the plays came in setting these groups and individuals in comic opposition.
Weber & Fields
variety and vaudeville comics, created “Mike and Myer”-german immigrants who never got anything right. wrote comedies, parody everything. 1912 “Hokey Pokey”
Marcus Klaw & Abraham Lincoln Erlanger
organized sindicate of theatres with traveling group on rail. attempt to obtain the monopoly on legit theater throughout the United States. Any producer who wanted to put on a play, and any theatre manager who wanted to book one, had to go through them, for they owned most of the theatres as well as the booking exchange that supplied the circuit with shows. In essence, by pooling their resources, the producers of the Syndicate had come up with an uber-circuit for the legitimate stage.
George Walker & Bert Williams
first black americans to get into theatre with whites, do “Jim Crowe” character acts. first lead role on broadway, performed in vaudeville
Florenz Ziegfeld
organizes and often finances concerts, plays or operas. glorifier of the american girl (folly girls), produced follies and revues. “Showboat” “Rosaile” “Betsy” “Hot-Cha!”. made theatre clean, proper, family friendly. more into aesthetics of performance over sound. “Follies of the Day”. beautiful girls/specacular set design/clean comedy. hires fanny bryce, marries billi burke. “A midnight frollic”-rooftop of Amsterdaam theatre.
Marilyn Miller
one of most popular broadway stars of 20s and 30s. tap dancer, singer and actress. “Sally”-Ziegfeld princess team “Sunny”. played big roles in broadway shows. worked a lot for Ziegfeld
Shubert Brothers
Lee, Sam(died) , Jacob, Russian jews immigrated, started in theatre management, “A chinese honeymoon” for the U.S. (1902), build a sindicate of theatres across America over 20 years, eclipse other duo’s sindicate cause they betrayed them earlier. owned Winter Garden theatre
Al Jolson
jewish immigrant from lithuania, america’s greatest entertainer, black face in 1903 to boost talent “Gus”, premiered in Shubert bros production “La Belle Perry”
stopped show to sing by himself,
amazing presentation, in warner bros. prudction paid $75,000 to be in movie with sound, 7 theatres can show it “The Jazz Singer”. on top of musical world in 1929. went around during WWII supporting troops boosting moral, performed in vaudeville and burlesque,
George White
wrote george white Scandals- broadway revues modelled after follies, W.C. fields, Ethel Merman,…all got start on scandals
Fanny Brice
singer, dancer, comedian, all around entertainer, hired by Ziegfeld, headliner of Ziegfeld Follies from 10s to 30s, started in burlesque revue.
Sophie Tucker
brash jewish comedian of 1920s from russia. in burlesque and vaudeville, did blackface for a little. Known for her stentorian delivery of comical and risque songs, she was one of the most popular entertainers in America during the first two-thirds of the 20th century
Miller & Lyles
songwriter, lyricist, vaudeville performers, african american comedians. “The Mayor of Dixie”
Vincent Youmans
american composer and broadway producer, tin pan alley plugger, rehersal pianist for Victor Herbert operettas. “Tea for Two” and “I want to be Happy” collaborated with lyricist Ira Gershwin on the score for Two Little Girls in Blue
Otto Harbach
American lyricist and librettist of about 50 musical comedies, partners with Jerome kern when they wrote “Sunny”
Eddie Cantor
comedian in vaudeville then stardom in follies. “Makin’ Whoopee”, “Ida”, “If You Knew Susie” American “illustrated song” performer, comedian, dancer, singer, actor and songwriter.
The Jazz Singer
first movie with sound, Al Jolson,
“Give my regards to Broadway”
by George M. cohan in Little Johnny Jones
“Over There”
by George M. Cohan during WWI to be patriotic
Irving Caesar
american lyricist and theatre composer who wrote lyrics for “Swanee” “Tea for Two” romanian jew, ziegfeld follies “Betsy” george white scandals
Sigmund Romberg
one of biggest operetta composer of 1920s, exclusive contract with shubert brothers, wrote songs for plays that needed lift “Student Prints” “May Time” “Blossom Time”
Rudolph Friml
one of biggest composers of 1920s “Firefly” “Rose Mary” “Vagabond King”
A Chinese Honeymoon
musical comedy in england ran over 1,000 performances
Princess Musicals
ziegfeld produced 7 musicals by Kern designed for Princess theatre that intergrate songs to develop characters or move plot along, (kern, wodehouse, bolten) is involved, music is vital to plot, intamicy, set in NY, inspired new generation of music theatre
Marilyn Miller stars, great dancer, ziegfeld princess team created it in 1920
1919, longest running broadway show, (600+) one of three girl shows, broke a trip to chinatowns record
one of three girl musicals
1928, produced by ziegfeld, starred eddie cantor
“The Varsity Drag”
one of main dance crazes of 1920s, first in “Good News”
“Tea for Two”
duet in 1925 “No, No, Nanette” became a jazz standard

No, No, Nanette

huge success in america, famous for “Tea for Two” and “I want to be Happy” music by vincent youmans and lyrics by irving caesar and otto harbach
“I Want to be happy”
in “No, No, Nanette” famous song, lyrics by harbach and caesar
A Trip to Chinatown
musical comedy, 1891, 657 performances, longest running show up to its date, first in england then america
produced by Ziegfeld, chorus girls all hot, series of revues that got people famous like W.C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Josephine Baker, Fanny Brice,  Bert Williams,, Marilyn Miller Sophie Tucker,
Victor Herbert Shows
“The Fortune Teller” “Babes in Toyland” “Serenade”
Kurt Weill
“The Threepenny Opera” rework of The Beggar’s Opera
Cole Porter Shows and Songs
songs “Night and Day”, “I Get a Kick out of You”, “Well, Did You Evah!” and shows Kiss Me, Kate, Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady
“Ol’ Man River”
song from Showboat about african america struggles, music by jerome kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Gaiety Musicals
centered around girl, dancing chorus girls
produced by george white, copied follies, gershwin was composer, glamour revues
Al Jolson Shows
“La belle Paree” “The Jazz Singer” sung old stephen foster songs also sang “Swanee” and “My Mammy”
Rodgers and Hart Songs
“Manhattan” “Blue Moon” “My Romance”
Me and My Girl
1937 in London’s west end, ran for awhilebook and lyrics by Douglas Furber and L. Arthur Rose and music by Noel Gay. lasted throug WWII and first broadway show ever televised
Noel Gay
successful british composer of popular music in 1930s and 1940s. britain’s equivalent to Irving Berlin, did music for “Me and My Girl”
Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk
in minstrelsy shows at the end, people walk in a circle. 1898 musical comedy, black dancers mingled with white actors, ragtime songs
Cohan Shows
Give My Regards to Broadway and Little Johnny Jones
musical revue with longest running show of its time in 1930s, shubert production
The Great Waltz
first performed in vienna, hammerstein II wrote new book and lyrics for film version, made into movie by MGM one of the grandest transformation scenes of all times was done.  The orchestra was flown from the pit to the back of the stage in full view of the audience!  This is one of the most remarkable effects every designed for musical theater!
Very Warm for May
final musical by Kern and Hammerstein II in 1939 on broadway
Transformation Scene
during which the play turns into a Harlequinade with the cast assuming the roles of Columbine, Harlequin, etc., and with a chase scene