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Enchanted EveningsThe Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim$
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Geoffrey Block

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167306

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167306.001.0001

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Happily Ever After West Side Story with Sondheim

Happily Ever After West Side Story with Sondheim

Chapter:
(p.274) Chapter Thirteen Happily Ever After West Side Story with Sondheim
Source:
Enchanted Evenings
Author(s):

Geoffrey Block

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167306.003.0013

This chapter looks at the career of the lyricist-composer who is generally recognized as a central artistic figure on Broadway after 1960. It argues that Sondheim's modernism and postmodernism can be viewed as an extension and reinterpretation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein model rather than a rebellion from it. It further argues that although Sondheim has vigorously denied autobiographical elements in his shows, the pressure to compromise faced by his characters are markedly similar to those faced by Sondheim himself as he creates their songs and faces the pressures of commercial theater.

Keywords:   Broadway musicals, musical theater, lyricist, composer, modernism

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