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The Secret Life of the American Musical: How…
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The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built (edition 1892)

by Jack Viertel

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572207,436 (3.86)4
Member:grunin
Title:The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built
Authors:Jack Viertel
Info:Sarah Crichton Books (1892)
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Musical Theater, read, Autographed

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The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built by Jack Viertel

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Jack Viertel is well versed in musical theater. A senior V.P at Jujamcyn Theaters, he is a Dramaturg, producer, and teaches musical theater at NYU’s Tisch School. Despite “being a man of limited imagination but a certain dulling cunning,” (self-described) this knowledge and love of theater is infused in this book.

Viertel uses some of his favorite shows as examples of how a musical is created, structured, and tweaked, what works and doesn’t. It should be no surprise that there are certain conventions and similarities shared by successful musicals, and less successful ones. Viertel analyzes shows and provides insight that will enrich the musical experience of anyone that loves the form. ( )
  Hagelstein | Feb 12, 2017 |
I will look at musicals in a new way! ( )
  Beth3511 | Apr 30, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374256926, Hardcover)

For almost thirty years, Jack Viertel has been a major figure in the Broadway theater world--he's helped create shows like Hairspray, Angels in America, and Into the Woods; served as dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum in L.A.; and is currently senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which host such shows as The Book of Mormon and Jersey Boys. Not long ago, Viertel noticed that while colleges offer intensive classes on Shakespeare's plays, dissecting them line by line to uncover their structure and meaning, there was nothing that dealt with musical theater in the same in-depth way. And why shouldn't there be? he asked. If Shakespeare is England's national theater, aren't Broadway musicals ours?

In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Viertel gives musicals the Shakespeare treatment. The book draws on a range of examples--from Carousel to Wicked, The Music Man to The Book of Mormon--and personal encounters to paint a picture of how Broadway musicals are made, taking you through all the phases of a typical musical theater story, from opening numbers to finales. It's a hilarious and compelling look at what Viertel has learned over the course of his career, full of observations about the egotists, geniuses, and workaday professionals who have sustained this unique American art form.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 21 Oct 2015 06:34:14 -0400)

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