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Charles Dickens and Sweeney Todd

Yesterday, Robert Mack, the editor of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, wrote about the unknown author of Sweeney Todd. Today Mack looks at Dickens’s influence. This post first appeared on Powell’s. The original publisher of Sweeney Todd, Edward Lloyd, in whose journal The People’s Periodical and Family Library first appeared in 1846-7, […]

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The 10 best shows for music directors, in no particular order, for several reasons

Listing the ten best shows for a music director to work on is as subjective as choosing the ten greatest composers, or painters, or novelists, so it’s worthwhile to stipulate some qualities the winners must have, subjectively speaking. Yet these qualities can only reveal themselves by working through the reasoning of what makes a show a music director’s favorite.

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The first jukebox musical

By Hal Gladfelder
The opening-night audience at John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera—first performed on 29 January 1728 at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln’s Inn Fields—can’t fully have known what sort of theatrical experience awaited them. The play’s title, for a start, must have struck them as nonsensical. What could a beggar have to do with an opera?

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A West Ender’s stop on Broadway

We’ve got one day here and not another minute…”. Well, not one day exactly, but just five—a short week’s stay in NYC from England, and four nights to catch a few shows. So how to choose? The first choices were easy: two new productions of classic musical comedies, and as it happens, shows by the same team of writers. Betty Comden and Adolph Green were veterans of Broadway by the time they came to write On the Twentieth Century (1978), though merely young starlets when they first scored a hit with On the Town (1944).

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Tony Quiz: The Answers

Geoffrey Block, Distinguished Professor of Music History at the University of Puget Sound, is the author of Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical From Show Boat to Sondheim and Lloyd Webber. The book offers theater lovers an illuminating behind-the-scenes tour of some of America’s best loved, most admired, and most enduring musicals, as well as a riveting history. In the post below we provide the answers to last week’s Tony quiz. How many did you get correct?

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