The introduction begins with the author’s reflections on musicals as a young boy in the 1960s and as a performer in the 1970s. It then moves to a brief history and description of the roadshow as a long-standing motion picture marketing and distribution format. The roadshow thrived in the 1950s with epic-scale filmmaking, then combined with the musical film with spectacular success with My Fair Lady in 1964 and The Sound of Music in 1965. The introduction then establishes the central theme, theses, and topics for the book, i.e., the quick devolution of the large-scale film musical from its zenith in the mid-1960s to its demise in the early 1970s. Several factors are mentioned: lack of creativity, miscasting, conglomerate takeover of film studios, aging out-of-touch executives, and, perhaps most powerfully, a society undergoing rapid change. The introduction concludes with author reflections on the research and writing of Roadshow!
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