Musical theater is a uniquely American art form, with roots in operetta and vaudeville. For more than a century, it evolved from carefree entertainments to works of seamless theatricality and darker psychological hues. The American musical has been stretched in myriad directions through the heroic and hopeful efforts of composers, lyricists, book writers, producers, directors, choreographers, actors, dancers and designers. In this course, we’ll explore the major works and figures of musical theater, from Victor Herbert, Irving Berlin and George and Ira Gershwin to Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Kurt Weill, Frank Loesser, Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner, Stephen Sondheim and many more. We’ll touch upon the great songs, watch important musical numbers and discuss the elements that go into the making of a successful (or not) work. Be prepared for some enchanted mornings.
Feb. 28; Mar. 7, 14, 21; Apr. 11, 18, 25; May 2 (8 sessions)
No class Mar. 28, Apr. 4
INSTRUCTOR: Don Rosenberg, music and dance writer for The Plain Dealer; President of the Music Critics Association of North America