Pal Joey
produced by Rogers and Hart 
Theatre Guild
founded in 1919 as cooperative entity – near bankruptcy by 1940
Theresa Helburn
proposes Green Grow the Lilacs
Green Grow the Lilacs
source for Oklahoma!
barely functional alcoholic, lyricist to Rodgers, more attuned to contemporary stories than oklahoma!
director of Oklahoma! suggests the pantomime ballet
Agnes de Mille
choreographer of Oklahoma! formerly in RODEO used ballet to advance the story & provide deeper meaning
secondary plot of Oklahoma!
Ado Annie, Will Parker, Ali Hakam
Surrey with the Fringe on Top

love song with dialogue interspersed – not necessarily new technique- adopted but abandoned in TPA publishing era. 

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emotion of wagon & trotting of horses, juxtaposition of mono and multi-syllabic words emphasizing emotion 

the associative melodies are in place

Opening of Oklahoma!

old fashioned waltz based on A&B melodies

scenic apparatus is set

curly provides active narration

reprised later, intuiting that Laurie and Curly are meant to be together

Pore Jud is Daid

provides perfect vehicle to contrast to curly’s romantic nature;

speech underlines station in life, uneducated ; lower social class

melody is a funeral dirge

bad guy doesnt have good lyrical expression

tells Jud he’s worthless and should commit suicide

Lonely Room

only song in a minor key – dark undertones, three dimensional character of Jud revealed

cut from movie

Dream ballet

dance could convey the awkward emotions in a poetic manner

confirms Curly’s affections and Jud’s intentions

classical, traditional & parisian follies

forecasts the plot for us

reprises Act I music and signature melodies

Farmer and the Cowman

simple, tuneful music, traditional dancing

makes great counterpoint to dream ballet

reaffirms central message that they are decent, hardworking Americans

balletic/modern dance

Act II Conclusion

Oklahoma chorus to celebrate marriage and the statehood of Oklahoma

last minute addition to cite the context of the land (suggestion made by Theresa Helburn)

Oklahoma Plot

reflected ordinary sensibilities and social issues

songs define and drive the narrative

multiple styles of dance

strong female protagonists

lengthy scenes set to music interspersed with dialogue

success of Oklahoma!

2212 performances

first musical to produce a soundtrack

sold in the millions

numerous revivals

R&H maintained artistic control

hungarian source by Ferene Molnar 1909 produced into a play by the Guild in 1921
Molnar also contacted by…

Kurt Weill (Three Penny Opera)

George Gershwin

Giacomo Puccini

major theme of carousel


morality play – good vs evil housed in the same person

Carousel Waltz

opening scene unconventional

music of carousel and elaborate pantomime

provides basic plot in gesture

waltz not quite correct – strident/shrill in the wrong key

carousel music represents juxtaposition between fantasy and reality 


Bench scene
catalyst for Julie wanting to be with Billie
“if I loved you”

only duet between principles

TPA song structure tailored to the love song fashion

Billiedoesn’t engage- fills out 3D portrait Is he really capable of love?

becomes basis for reprise will be used as an associative melody

bench scene

only carousel love duet

carrie ; Mr. Snow relationship catalyst

use of conditional = not traditional

last twelve minutes – dialogue interspersed with music

basis for important musical reprise

Julie’s suplicaiton to Billy who is at war with himself – changed the subject 

they have outlined the course of their relationship – they will never be together


extended free association – breaking with traditions

assumes child to be male 

he forecasts his own end


Billy is singing about himself


Billy forges identity between son and carousel

song changes to TRIPLET RHYTHM, ROMANTIC ABLLAD when he realizes it could be a girl


brilliant nuance of R &H

ends with a totally different emotion than the beginning


Agnes di Mille

Act II – to enhance the drama and portray Louise as lonely, miserable, and ostacized

dance, pantomime, spoken dialogue

appearance of carousel ties to past & future music in the first half is mostly from soliloquoy and then reprise from If I Loved You

repulsed by the kiss. 

Innovations of CAROUSEL

use of tragic subject matter

american tragedy contemporary to 1945

expressed looming post-war USA

protagonist: anti-hero

suicide, abusive, crass, stands outside of community

dramatic fabric: REALISM

entire scenes conveyed in music which conveys narrative

music joined to dance for narrative

dialogue and song used interchangeably

extension of concepts in Oklahoma!




Alan Jay Lerner

lyricist of My Fair Lady

experience only musicals at Harvard

Frederick Loewe

composer of My Fair Lady

emigrated to the United States in 1924 

song of Edmund Loewe – famous singer in Viennese opera

Brigadoon (1947) 

Paint Your Wagon (1951)

first successes of Lerner and Loewe
source of My Fair Lady

George Bernard Shaw


sculptor who brings statue to life

OVID: Metamorphosis, Book 10 

sought rights for Pygmalion
Theresa Helburn
Shaw’s plot
simple, direct, compact, linear
obstacles for MY FAIR LADY

plot too thin

nature of realtionship ambiguous at best – no romantic love story

no secondary plot or ensemble

legal issues from Shaw’s estate


solutions to My Fair Lady obstacles

Higgins removed from University

chorus of servants underlines the message of class and social differences

eliza first appearance at the races, to juxtapose social class

expanded role of Alfred Dolittle – 3D character

contrived resolution between lovers



talk song
Henry Higgins spoken words over vamps characterize the dry humor of shaw 
conventional style

Eliza’s TPA AA1BA style – almost operetta singing;

a popular sound that contrasts with the talk singing


Higgins and ELiza embody this contrast


english music hall style
raucous;musical style of Alfred Dolittle like a German operetta
1964 film MFL

faithful ot the stage version film;

only a single song is switched

all 21 songs are kept

“Why Cant the English”

talk song

no melody – free movement from speech to song

accompaniment: vamp

Higgins elitist, borderline;misogynist;lyrics;

passive narrative instead of active

“Wouldn’t it be Loverly”

Eliza is an eternal optimist

put right after last song so you can compare the characters

pure cockney speech

Hook is the title

A A1 BA TPA format

standard rhythmic pattern to contrast Henry’s variable rhythms


“I’m an ordinary man”

2 contrasting musical and lyrical sections

A: self-description, smooth melody, gentleman, warped self image

B: more vigorous fast tempo angular melody underlines erudition and bias against women

lyrics are more important than the melody

“The Rain In Spain”

closest to Broadway ensemble

crafting scene illustrates Eliza’s breakthrough

Henry starts to see her as a woman

some exchange of character traits

eliza loses emotion and Henry gains it

tango rhythm – wrong but good


“I Could Have Danced All Night”

celebration of breakthrough

first sign of attraction to Henry

humanity and emotion vs. intellect

represents flowering of emotion

talk sings the beginning – relates to Henry

song emphaises first person until “I only know when HE” at which it reverts to the first melody shows her attraction to him

“Get Me to the Church on Time”

Alfred Doolittle: third musical style

English Music Hall

simplistic with repetitive lyrics

participation of the chorus

remains unchanged despite marriage

stylistic counterpoint 

injects comic relief



“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face”


Henry Higgins culmination of musical

presented in talk song

lyrics recount relationship 

music is filled with reprises suggesting an affinity for Eliza

process of rationalization is being affected by emotion, not intellect

begins to reprise “let a woman in your life”

conclusion is consistent with Shaws

IMPACT of My Fair Lady

2717 performances

movie rights sold for $5 million

Rex Harrison not traditional Broadway star 

original: broadened the range of sources

returned elements of English operetta to Broadway

non-American subjects could succeed on Broadway

no relevance to 1956 – element of the exotic

presents the plot with 3D characters

distinct musical styles: diverse, well-defined characters in music

original idea for West Side Story
conversation between Jerome Robbins and Montgomery Clift in 1948
Jerome Robbins

NYC Ballet

choreographer of West Side Story

Leonard Bernstein

director of the NY Philharmonic

write music for West Side


Arthur Laurents

wrote the book for West Side Story

prominent Hollywood screenwriter


Richard Rodgers
convinced Berstein not to let Maria commit suicide because if you let her die you are saying that violence conquers all
west side choreography

jerome Robbins

choreography emulated music

five major dance scenes

montagues and capulets
jets and sharks
older credible juliet

replacement for nurse

bernardo’s lover

catalyst for tony’s death

county paris
Friar Lawrence
Officer Krupke
Prince Escalus
West Side Story prologue

inroduces main characters, music and dramatic themes

dance, pantomime, and music narrate the story

choreo: classical and modern

the two warring clans are synchronized showing unity 

musical signatures presented here which will later transform

intended clash HATE motive

hate motive

three notes presented in prologue

hate undoes all

used in the prologue, jet song, and music of the sharks but alway left incomplete – tony allowed to complete it with a descending note in Somethings Coming

musical signature in WSS
transformation as characters get deeper into the plot and take part in the action so does their music develop – opera technique utilized by Bernstein
“Jet Song”

Riff based upon character of Mercutio

based on “Up to the Moon” earlier song by Bernstein

Riff and the entire gang have a collective identity

meoldy first heard in prologue

song: operatic, complex, expressing sentiment and pathos, musically very hard to sing

ingenuity of the song: RHYTHM

in a triple pattern

accompaniment in a double pattern

juxtaposition of 2 against 3 – HEMIOLA – intuiting strife between jets and sharks 


juxtaposition of 2 against 3 – HEMIOLA – intuiting strife bettween jets and sharks 

melody triple pattern

accompaniment double pattern

also seen in America

“Something’s Coming” 

Tony’s song of introduction actually based on Mercutio’s Queen Mab Speech

appropriate moment, grafted onto Tony and introduces music to later be recalled. 

Recalls the hate motive from the prologue but it now descends with a third note

figure of peace and reconciliation

Love motive


tony completes the hate motive in Maria and produces the love motive

also previews the music for tonight

Dance at the Gym

gangs meet at community center

first meeting of Tony and Maria

opening music: big band jazz

“hate motive” prodominently featured in jazz music

the “promenade music” has the hate motive in the bass line

MAMBO cuban dance refers to the ethnicity of the Sharks

well synchronized: their common ground is on the dance floor

“dream sequence” in the midst of mambo

“cha cha melody” basis for the melody of Maria



disguised in the cha cha melody

first full expression of positive sentiment

Tony’s excitement: rhythmic introduction on a single note

Maria melody completion of hate motive

she represents peace, reconciliation 

sng based on melody from Regina (Mark Blitzstein)

we understand the dynamics between characters now



counterpoint to the Jet song

defines and embodies the sharks

dance critical element of identity

song considers racism in America

rhythm utilizes 2 against three pattern of hemiola previously seen in Jet Song

the rhythms between the two are thus the same – there is no difference between the two groups. Both are immigrants, the jets are just one generation removed

the 1961 release of the movie had a great deal of relevance to contemporary issues of the time


Balcony Scene

emotional culmination

transferred to fire escape from R & J

traditional Broadway Love duet

previewed earlier in Tonight

Maria expresses her feelings in a balance to Tony’s

They trade verses in the duet

each sing love motive

duet song ends in unity (traditional sense of unity of mind)



WSS Act I Finale


“One Hand One Heart”

“Tonight Quintet”

“The Rumble”

opera technique: bring all the characters on stage and recap their situations


One Hand One Heart
wedding ceremony – articulates love story
tonight quintet

sung in five parts

Sharks (Riff) – sharks and jets sing the same thing

Jets (Bernardo)

Tony – tony and Maria same thing



reprise of love and hate motives



balances opening prologue

book end that reprises nearly all of the music

same music used when Tony kills Bernardo as when Bernardo cuts Little John

dance narrates the action

rumble logical conclusion

pantomime delivers violence and shock value


marias response to Tony is surprising

most powerful duet in act II

almost traditional except it repeats the B concluding section 

A A1 B A B1

brief but great deal of importance to the dramaturgy

she sings it back to Tony – forgiveness

becomes the basis for reprises – had been foreshadowed in Tonight

melody becomes the basis for cool


 A boy like that

anita’s rebuke

harsh dissonant manner 

verse sung twice

“I love him”


Maria’s transformation of Anita’s A Boy Like That

similar to the transformation of the hate melody

shes transforming anitas sentiment

her love for Bernardo is flawed because Bernardo and Riff could never see beyond their hate

WSS Act II Finale


it cant end happily because it is still a tragedy

Maria does not die because does not succomb to violence

Tony must die for his sin

his is an act of self-consumption: suicide

finale succeeds through understatement

maria does not sing a farewell aria

orchestra plays Somewhere

and I Have love played for procession of the body




The run of West Side Story

premiered in Washington DC

Broadway: Sept 1957

732 performances

national and european tours

nimonated for Tony Award 1957

WSS impact not considerable until film version 1961

11 academy award nominations

soundtrack outsold Oklahoma