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Coming up RosesThe Broadway Musical in the 1950s$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140583.001.0001

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The Street, 1950

The Street, 1950

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 The Street, 1950
Source:
Coming up Roses
Author(s):

Ethan Mordden

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140583.003.0001

The Broadway musical was beginning the fourth decade of its golden age in the 1950s. The musical then was central to American culture. Its songs not only topped the Hit Parade but, unlike most pop music, often passed into classic status. Its stars were American icons; better, its ability to create stardom, at times “overnight,” was awesome. Some fifty-one productions were fielded during the 1949–50 season. Fifteen of these fifty-one shows were musicals, and perhaps a good place to start would be with Big Broadway, in a star vehicle produced by Leland Hayward for Ethel Merman with an Irving Berlin score, a Howard Lindsay-Russel Crouse book, direction by George Abbott, and choreography by Jerome Robbins: Call Me Madam (1950). Other musicals during the period are discussed.

Keywords:   Broadway, stardom, American culture, Call Me Madam

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