In the last 15 years of the 20th century, Broadway struggled with the demise of the impresario, the entrance of big corporate sponsors, skyrocketing ticket prices and production costs, and a dwindling audience base. But is another Broadway renaissance afoot?
This week on Saturday Cinema, Lynne Warfel features the music from iconic American films, including 'Summer of '42', 'The Natural' and 'Star Wars'.
As the Fourth of July approaches, Flicks in Five features one of James Cagney's most enduring roles, and one of his favorites. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" gave Cagney the chance to shine as a song and dance man.
Stephen Sondheim is one of the reigning kings of musicals. With witty, erudite lyrics and gorgeous soaring scores, he has had hit after hit on Broadway with <em>Follies</em>, <em>Company</em>, <em>A Little Night Music</em>, <em>Sweeney Todd</em>, and numerous others.
As summer is now officially begun, Lynne Warfel celebrates it on this week's Saturday Cinema with scores from films that were summer blockbusters or classic summer releases.
The preceeding generations of directors, choreographers, and producers paved the way for the new group of creative minds. Fosse, Sondheim, and Kander and Ebb brought an edgy realism to the plots and a virtuoso turn to the dancing in their musicals.
Rodgers and Hammerstein try to top their success with "Oklahoma" when they filmed "South Pacific". Only two of the actors in the film are heard singing with their own voices.
This week on Saturday Cinema, Lynne Warfel begins with some 'trouble' in River City, then continues with music from 'The King and I', 'West Side Story' and a tribute to Fred Astaire.
Meredith Willson has written some great standard tunes in the popular repertoire, but it's the story of the con man turned good-guy by an Iowa librarian that became a classic when "The Music Man" premiered.
While 'Showboat' was a harbinger of things to come on the Broadway stage, the form of the musical was in flux until Rodgers collaborated with Hammerstein, and 'Oklahoma' rang in the 1940s.
Lynne Warfel continues the celebration of movie musicals, staring with 'Carousel' and then looking at the music from 'Fiddler on the Roof' and others. Also, a tribute to a superstar of many musicals, Judy Garland.
In 1984, I took a grad school student's holiday to London to stay the summer with a friend, trying to see all the West End plays I could from the cheap seats. Before returning home, I went to Normandy to see where my Dad, Norman "Bud" Warfel, served during WWII. It was then the 40th anniversary of D-Day.
Rodgers and Hammerstein were inspired by a Hungarian play about a con artist carousel barker who falls in love with a sweet, innocent local girl. The idea became 'Carousel', a Broadway and cinematic hit.
Lynne Warfel takes a look back at the early days of Broadway, including the start of it all in 1904, up through the Great Depression.
As we stand at the cusp of the month of June, Lynne Warfel celebrates movie musicals. Plus, a tribute to the late Bob Hoskins. It's all on this week's Saturday Cinema.