The Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals

By (author) Dan Dietz

Hardback - £113.00

Publication date:

10 April 2014

Length of book:

622 pages


Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9781442230712

While the 1960s may have been a decade of significant upheaval in America, it was also one of the richest periods in musical theatre history. Shows produced on Broadway during this time include such classics as Bye, Bye Birdie; Cabaret; Camelot; Hello Dolly!; Fiddler on the Roof; How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying; Oliver!; and Man of La Mancha. Performers such as Dick Van Dyke, Anthony Newley, Jerry Orbach, and Barbara Streisand made their marks, and other talents—such as Bob Fosse, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, Jerome Robbins, and Stephen Sondheim—also contributed to shows.

The Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals, Dan Dietz examines every musical and revue that opened on Broadway during the 1960s. In addition to providing details on every hit and flop, Dietz includes revivals and one-man and one-woman shows that centered on stars like Jack Benny, Maurice Chevalier, Marlene Dietrich, Danny Kaye, Yves Montand, and Lena Horne.

Each entry consists of:

  • Opening and closing dates
  • Plot summaries
  • Cast members
  • Number of performances
  • Names of all important personnel, including writers, composers, directors, choreographers, producers, and musical directors
  • Musical numbers and the names of performers who introduced the songs
  • Production data, including information about tryouts
  • Source material
  • Critical commentary
  • Tony awards and nominations
  • Details about London and other foreign productions

In addition to entries for each production, the book offers numerous appendixes: a discography, film and television versions, published scripts, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and lists of productions by the New York City Center Light Opera Company, the New York City Opera Company, and the Music Theatre of Lincoln Center. A treasure trove of information,
this significant resource will be of use to scholars, historians, and casual fans of one of the greatest decades in musical theatre history.
Between the forgotten Beg, Borrow or Steal (February 1960) and Meredith Willson's 1491 (which closed pre-Broadway in October 1969), 271 musicals opened or tried to open on Broadway. Dietz, author of Off-Broadway Musicals, here discusses all book musicals with new music, revivals, revues, imports, and other works that appeared in New York venues (plus 29 pre-Broadway closings). Each chronologically arranged entry includes opening and closing dates, number of performances, crew, cast (with character names), setting, musical numbers (and performers), a two-page plot summary and critical reception, awards, book availability, and recording history. If a performer's name was billed above the title, it is presented in italics. Entries are well written, with subjectivity kept to a minimum (the critics do the talking), and the commentary is well informed. Included in the 12 appendixes are a discography and a filmography. More detailed than Thomas Hischak's Broadway Plays and Musicals, and more comprehensive than Stanley Green's Broadway Musicals: Show by Show (7th ed., rev. and updated, or Ethan Mordden's Open a New Window: The Broadway Musical in the 1960s, this is a valuable resource for all theater collections. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers.