Hairspray Musical Essays

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At the center of this world are the star-crossed lovers, Cry-Baby and the square rich girl Allison, just a good girl who yearns to be bad in Cry-Baby's arms.

Fueled by hormones and the new rhythms of rock and roll, she turns her back on her squeaky clean boyfriend Baldwin to become a "drape" (a Baltimore juvenile delinquent) and Cry-Baby's moll.

But the man who came to be recognized as the grandfather of the American musical comedy was George M. From 1904 to 1920, Cohan created and produced over fifty musicals, plays and revues.

His energy and talents seemed boundless: he sang, danced, wrote scripts and songs, directed and produced.

It was more extravagant, dance-heavy and provocative than previous musical entertainments, but its script and score were constantly changing, with songs interpolated from various sources. While several European talents, like Jacques Offenbach (1819-80), Johann Strauss II (1825-99) and Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), influenced the music in musicals, the beginning of a distinctively American sound is largely attributable to Stephen Foster (1826 - 1864), in songs like "Oh!

Susanna," "Camptown Races" and "Old Folks at Home (Swanee River)." The memorable musicals from the rest of the 19th and early 20th centuries are mostly operettas, such as Reginald de Koven's ) (American production, 1907).

Kern significantly impacted the evolution of the musical with a series of five shows that (mostly) premiered at the Princess Theatre (Manhattan) between 19.

Because the theater was so small (it only sat 299 people), in order to be profitable the productions had to be more intimate - smaller casts and orchestras, fewer sets and costumes.

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