2018-02-07 / Features

As I See It: A Broadway Musical Play

BY LOU THEODORE

I was always in love with the music of the 1950s and 1960s. And suddenly, it came to me a few weeks ago while watching an advertisement on the great love songs of the past. I thought: How about a musical play on the great music of the 1950s and 1960s era? After some thought, I decided to put together an outline for a Broadway play concerning the musical hits of that period, focusing on (but not limited to) country plus rock and roll music. And, that is what this piece is all about…a Broadway play entitled, “The Music of the 1950s and 1960s Revisited.”

The association of music and poetry is so close that language and music are widely believed to have had a common origin in early human history. Musical theater as a genre developed and was refined during the first half of the 20th century, particularly in the theaters along Broadway in New York City. The musical has origins in a variety of 19th century theatrical sources, including the operetta, comic opera, pantomime, the minstrel show, vaudeville, and burlesque.

Keep in mind that I am not a producer or director, and have attended only 15 (my best guess) Broadway plays and 5 (my best guess again) off-Broadway plays. Most have been of a musical variety. My first play was “Grease” and I remember becoming mesmerized on entering the theater and hearing the piped-in music prior to the play. I also remember “Dream Girls” and “Jersey Boys.” Interestingly for me, the plot never came into “play”; it was strictly the music. Based on all of this, here is what I’ve come up with for a Broadway play on the music of the 1950s and 1960s.

The Music/Score: The music would be primarily based on the hit songs of the 1950s and 1960s. Here are some of my favorites: “Be My Baby,” “Beyond the Sea,” “Blueberry Hill,” “California Girls,” “Georgia on My Mind,” “Crazy,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Johnny B. Good,” “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” “Sh-Boom,” “Someday Soon,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On,” “All My Lovin’,” “You Belong to Me.”

Some, but not all, of the above would be part of the play for a given night.

The Singers/Musicians: At a minimum, the band would consist of a drummer, guitarist, keyboard player, violinist and horn. Other musicians could also be included in the band.

The Presentation/Production: The band opens up with a medley of 5 or more country music songs from the past. This would be followed by Act I which would consist of 15 songs selected randomly by the director from a list of 75 hits of the 1950s and 60s, almost all from different artists. Each song would be preceded by a short one-minute commentary on the songwriter and/or singers. The last act would consist of 10 songs that would be randomly selected by the audience. The play would conclude with another medley of rock-androll songs.

Each performance would be different and thus could be attended numerous times by a theater-goer. (This is similar to Louie Prima’s shows in Las Vegas where—due to Prima’s onstage “insanity”— the audience was treated to a different show every night

©Theodore Tutorials, 2017.

Visit the author at: www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101.

For the full article, visit QGazette.com.

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