Gloucester: Sawyer Free Library


Anything goes : a history of American musical theatre / Ethan Mordden.


  • ISBN: 9780199892839 (hardcover)
  • ISBN: 0199892830 (hardcover)
  • Description: xii, 346 p., [16] unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 2013.

Available copies

Current holds

0 current holds with 5 total copies.

Library Location Call Number Status Due Date
Gloucester Adult Nonfiction 782.14/Mordden (Text to phone) Available -
Beverly Main NEW ML 1711 .M732 2013 (Text to phone) Available -
Danvers New Books ML 1711 M732 2013 (Text to phone) Available -
North Shore - Lynn Campus Stacks ML 1711 .M732 2013 (Text to phone) Available -
Stoneham Adult Nonfiction Lower Level 782.1409 MOR (Text to phone) Available -

Content descriptions

General Note: Discography: (pages 291-322).
Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 281-290) and index.
Contents Note: The First Age. Source material ; The age of burlesque ; At the turn of the century. -- The Second Age. The witch of the wood and the bamboo tree ; Victor Herbert ; The new music ; The variety show. -- The Third Age. The structure of twenties musical comedy ; The structure of twenties operetta ; Dancing in the dark ; Blue Monday blues ; The Rodgers and Hammerstein handbook ; Something to dance about ; After West Side story ; The Sondheim handbook. -- The Fourth Age. Devolution ; That is the state of the art.
Summary: This work offers a history of American musical theater from the 1920s through to the 1970s. After six volumes on the musical's history, decade by decade from the 1920s through the 1970s, the author takes an entirely fresh look at the musical, from 'The Beggar's Opera' to 'Wicked'. Looking at the 'Star Comic', the 'Sweetheart Heroine', the war between musical comedy and operetta, the rise of the sexy story in the 1920s, the wedding of ballet and hoofing in the 1930s, the Oklahoma! and Carousel "musical play" in the 1940s, the Novelty Star in the 1950s, and other developments, the author takes us from George Gershwin to Ethel Merman to Jerome Robbins to the director-choreographer and the offbeat contemporary show: 'Porgy and Bess', 'Gypsy', 'Fiddler on the Roof', 'Chicago', 'A Chorus Line', 'Grand Hotel', 'Grey Gardens', 'Rent'. The author emphasizes not only the writing of musicals but the performing of them, taking the reader virtually into the theatre to experience what a great show is like, whether Victor Herbert's 'The Red Mill' or Stephen Sondheim's 'Follies'.
Subject: Musicals > United States > History and criticism.