To Broadway, To Life!: The Musical Theater of Bock and by Philip Lambert

By Philip Lambert

In fourteen years of collaboration, composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick wrote seven of Broadway's such a lot cherished and remarkable musicals jointly, such a lot famously Fiddler at the Roof (1964), but in addition the long-lasting viewers favourite She Loves Me (1963), and the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Fiorello! (1959). With their appeal, humor, and boundless musical invention, their musicals have gained eighteen Tony Awards and proceed to catch the imaginations of thousands around the globe.

To Broadway, To Life!: The Musical Theater of Bock and Harnick is the 1st entire publication approximately those inventive figures, one in all Broadway's most crucial songwriting groups. Drawing from broad archival resources, and from own interviews and communications with Bock and Harnick themselves and their most vital collaborators, writer Philip Lambert explores the essence of a Bock-Harnick show-how it truly is prepare, and what makes it paintings. The booklet comprises dialogue of songs corresponding to "Sunrise, sundown" and "If I have been a wealthy guy" that experience lengthy been favorites within the public awareness, and it additionally explores an enormous catalogue of lesser-known songs from their many different exhibits and works, together with a musical puppet express on Broadway, song for the 1964 World's reasonable, and a made-for-television musical. right here too is the 1st examine the little-known younger expert beginnings of Bock and Harnick in revues and tv indicates and summer time retreats within the Nineteen Fifties, and the careers they've got solid for themselves with new collaborators within the a long time considering that their partnership dissolved in 1970.

The musicals of Bock and Harnick got here at a transitional time in Broadway background, while the traditions of Rodgers and Hammerstein have been commencing to collapse to the idea that musical, the rock musical, and at last the mega-musical. To Broadway, To lifestyles! combines exhaustive examine, shut musical research, and interpretive severe research to put Bock and Harnick within the context of those occasions, and is helping identify their position within the historical past of the yank musical theater.

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Its programs typically included modern dance, opera excerpts, and chamber music, in addition to theater of all types. In the mid-1950s the resort hired a full staff of actors, musicians, and writers to provide nightly entertainment and produce a new musical revue every week. Among the performers and creators who worked there were Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Elia Kazan, Jack Gilford, Imogene Coca, Carol Burnett, Lloyd Bridges, Doris Humphrey, Michael Stewart, Harold Rome, Lee Adams, and Charles Strouse.

29 Harnick’s reputation as a collaborator and problem-solver brought him work as a “show doctor”—a consultant and contributor to shows that were in development but in need of new creative energy. The producers of The Amazing Adele, a musical adaptation of a French comedy, sought Harnick’s help as the show floundered in pre-Broadway tryouts, but it closed in January 1956 in Boston. ”30 Another full-length musical for which Harnick provided last-minute 28 | To Broadway, To Life! help did make it to Broadway—briefly.

It begins with an introduction that offers no clues to the subject matter to come: I’m carrying a torch For the guy who done me wrong Why did he done me wrong If he done did me right I wouldn’t have to sing this stupid song! 24 The singer’s ironic detachment, commenting on singing and on the song itself, sets the tone. After that Harnick seizes well-chosen opportunities for wordplay on the song’s theme, all over a habañera rhythmic pattern. The mock seriousness of the music comically clashes with the pedestrian message of the lyric.

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