Musical


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Musical

 

a primarily light play in which the resources of the stage, popular music, choreography, drama, and opera are used. The musical was developed in the USA in the late 19th century.

Bicknell’s play, The Black Crook, which combined melodrama, song, and “showgirls,” was first presented in 1866 and played for 25 years. In New York in the early 20th century the Negro actors B. Williams and G. Walker presented several musical comedies distinguished for their originality and striking theatricality. (The composer of these comedies was W. M. Cook.) The musical comedy became the most popular form of American theater, particularly after World War I. The best of the later musicals include Kern’s Show Boat (1929), Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing (1931), Weill’s Johnny Johnson (1936), Rodgers’ Oklahoma! (1943), Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate (1948), Loewe’s My Fair Lady (1956), and Herman’s Hello, Dolly! (1964). They were distinguished by their content, fine directorial skill, brilliant visual impact, and melodious, catchy music.

Dance is a major component of musicals. At first primarily tap dancing and chorus-line numbers were used, but in Bernstein’s West Side Story, one of the best American musicals (choreographer Jerome Robbins, 1957), the dance attained outstanding dramatic expressiveness.

The popularity and accessibility of musicals are often exploited by impresarios who form touring companies of the most successful shows and present them in other countries. Often, movies are based on musicals: Oliver! (Bart, Great Britain, 1970); Funny Girl (Styne, USA, 1969); The Girls From Rochefort (Legrand, France, 1966); and The Old Folks at the Hops Harvest (Bažant, Malásek, and Hála, Czechoslovakia, 1964).

The musicals West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and Kiss Me, Kate have been presented in theaters in the USSR. Among the shows presented as musicals are My Brother Plays The Clarinet (Fel’tsman, 1968, at the Moscow Theater for Young Audiences), the cartoon The Bremen Musicians (Gladkov, 1970), and the film Shel’menko the Batman (Solov’ev-Sedoi, 1971).

REFERENCES

Volyntsev, A. “Azbuka zhanra.” Teatr, 1967, no. 9.
Ewen, D. The Story of America’s Musical Theater. Philadelphia, 1961.
Osolsobĕ, Y. Muzikál je, když Prague, 1967.

A. V. VOLYNTSEV

References in classic literature ?
But the longer Bell toiled at his musical telegraph, the more he dreamed of replacing the telegraph and its cumbrous sign-language by a new machine that would carry, not dots and dashes, but the human voice.
Sanders and Hubbard, who had been paying the cost of his experiments, abruptly announced that they would pay no more unless he confined his attention to the musical telegraph, and stopped wasting his time on ear-toys that never could be of any financial value.
Consequently, when Bell returned from Washington, he was compelled by his agreement to devote himself mainly to the musical telegraph, although his heart was now with the telephone.
He forgot his musical telegraph, his "Visible Speech," his classes, his poverty.
There was the first electric light, and the first grain-binder, and the musical telegraph of Elisha Gray, and the marvellous exhibit of printing telegraphs shown by the Western Union Company.
Punctual to the time at which he was expected, the discreet Duncan reappeared with a note from the musical agent.
She soon found that whistling to the bullfinches in Mrs d'Urberville's room was no such onerous business when she had regained the art, for she had caught from her musical mother numerous airs that suited those songsters admirably.
and not "he loves me," since an unalterable and unquestioned law of the musical world required that the German text of French operas sung by Swedish artists should be translated into Italian for the clearer understanding of English- speaking audiences.
This supplementary program also instructed the excursionists to provide themselves with light musical instruments for amusement in the ship, with saddles for Syrian travel, green spectacles and umbrellas, veils for Egypt, and substantial clothing to use in rough pilgrimizing in the Holy Land.
Her phrases, so bald and few, constantly repeated, showed the emptiness of her mind; he recalled her vulgar little laugh at the jokes of the musical comedy; and he remembered the little finger carefully extended when she held her glass to her mouth; her manners like her conversation, were odiously genteel.
Rockwell and Bogart's ``The Musical of Musicals: The Musical'' may be a bit too inside baseball to anyone who doesn't know ``Mame,'' ``Oklahoma