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Book details
  • Genre:PERFORMING ARTS
  • SubGenre:Theater / Broadway & Musical Revue
  • Language:English
  • Pages:395
  • eBook ISBN:9781098329310

Musical Misfires

Three Decades of Broadway Musical Heartbreak

by Mark A. Robinson and Thomas S. Hischak

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Overview
Musical Misfires: Three Decades of Broadway Musical Heartbreak looks at 151 musicals that did not run long enough to be considered hits. Such shows were once called flops but that is no longer an appropriate description. Some of these were superb pieces of musical theatre that, for one reason or another, couldn't find an audience, did not please the critics, couldn't pay the high weekly bills, or just were not right for the time and place in which they opened. Oft-overlooked gems like The Scottsboro Boys, Grey Gardens, Caroline, or Change, Steel Pier, and Tuck Everlasting are explored alongside such famous musicals as Shrek the Musical, Seussical, and Young Frankenstein that never reached hit status on Broadway. Musicals of all genres, from jukebox to horror shows, from 1989 to 2020 are included. Illustrated with forty-two photographs (most in color) and filled with backstage stories, reviews from the press, and commentary on why the musicals were not hits, Musical Misfires is indispensable reading for anyone who loves musical theatre, both its triumphs and it heartbreaks.
Description
Musical Misfires: Three Decades of Broadway Musical Heartbreak looks at 151 musicals that did not run long enough to be considered hits. Such shows were once called flops but that is no longer an appropriate description. Some of these were superb pieces of musical theatre that, for one reason or another, couldn't find an audience, did not please the critics, couldn't pay the high weekly bills, or just were not right for the time and place in which they opened. Oft-overlooked gems like The Scottsboro Boys, Grey Gardens, Sweet Smell of Success, Xanadu, If/Then, Caroline, or Change, Bright Star, Steel Pier, The Last Ship, and Tuck Everlasting are explored alongside such famous musicals as American Idiot, Victor/Victoria, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sister Act, All Shook Up, Be More Chill, Shrek the Musical, Seussical, and Young Frankenstein that never reached hit status on Broadway. Juke box musicals, cutting-edge musicals, movie adaptations, teenage musicals, biographical musicals, history musicals, and even horror musicals are among the many genres included in this captivating journey of Broadway shows from 1989 to 2020 in search of success. Illustrated with forty-two photographs (most in color) and filled with backstage stories, reviews from the press, and commentary on why the musicals were not hits, Musical Misfires is indispensable reading for anyone who loves musical theatre, both its triumphs and it heartbreaks.
About the author

MARK A. ROBINSON is the author of the two-volume reference series The World of Musicals; Sitcommentary: Television Comedies that Changed America; The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs; and The Disney Song Encyclopedia (with Thomas S. Hischak). He is a graduate of the State University of New York in Cortland with a degree in speech/theatre. He has taught high school theatre and writing and regularly directs youth and professional theatre productions. A resident of upstate New York, he has been honored by the New York State Legislature for his work bringing arts education to underprivileged youth in economically depressed areas. A featured writer for several theatre websites, including BroadwayDirect.com, ShowTickets.com, and playbill.com, as well as writing pieces for The Library of Congress, Lincoln Center, Sorbet Magazine, and Broadway Records, he has spent the last fifteen years researching and writing about theatre, film, and television. Robinson is also a travel and tourism writer for a variety of e-commerce platforms. Blog: markrobinsonwrites.com.


THOMAS S. HISCHAK is the author of over thirty non-fiction books about film, theatre, and popular music, including The Oxford Companion to the American Musical; 1939: Hollywood’s Greatest Year; The Mikado to Matilda: British Musicals on the New York Stage; The 100 Greatest Animated Feature Films; The Encyclopedia of Film Composers; The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia; Broadway Plays and Musicals; Through the Screen Door; The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopedia; Disney Voice Actors; The Disney Song Encyclopedia (with Mark A. Robinson); Word Crazy: Broadway Lyricists; American Literature on Stage and Screen; Theatre as Human Action; The Jerome Kern Encyclopedia; The 100 Greatest American Plays; and The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (with Gerald Bordman). He is also the author of fifty published plays and a Fulbright scholar who has taught and directed theatre in Greece, Lithuania, and Turkey. Hischak is Emeritus Professor of Performing at the State University of New York at Cortland. Website: www.thomashischak.com


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