The Street, 1952
It is the coming together of Irving Berlin and Frank Loesser, Ethel Merman and Vivian Blaine, Moss Hart and Michael Kidd, slambang musical comedy and the stimulating musical play—the old guard and the newborns—that tells us how vigorous the musical was. Here is a community of old and young talent egging each other on, everyone a student and teacher at once. Cole Porter was probably as old time as one could have been, counting a Broadway debut in 1916. Yet his Can-Can (1953) was somewhat new wave, an old-fashioned show bursting with relative newcomers—producers Feuer and Martin, book writer Abe Burrows, choreographer Michael Kidd. Can-Can was all for fun. It had a look and a style, vaguely suggestive of Paris in 1893. But what it mainly had were the Cole Porter things—sex, speed, great songs, and a lot of personality in the cast. Other musicals during the period are discussed.
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