Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 9 x 11½
978-1-4422-3504-5 • Hardback • July 2014 • $175.00 • (£135.00)
978-1-4422-3505-2 • eBook • July 2014 • $157.50 • (£121.00)
Dan Dietz is a former professor of composition, world literature, and modern drama at Western Carolina University. He is the author of Off Broadway Musicals, 1910-2007 (2010) and The Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).
1950s Broadway Musicals:
A. Alphabetical List of Musicals
B. Chronology (by Classification)
C. Chronology (by Season)
F. Gilbert and Sullivan Productions
G. New York City Center Light Opera Company Productions
H. New York City Opera Company Productions
I. Other Productions
J. Published Scripts
Anyone who enjoyed Dietz’s Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals will welcome this new volume, which covers every show from Happy as Larry (January 1950) through Vernon Duke’s flop The Pink Jungle (closed pre-Broadway December 1959)--206 shows altogether. As he did in the earlier title, Dietz discusses all book musicals with new music, revivals, revues, new operas, imports, and other works that appeared in New York venues (plus 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), two-page plot summary and critical reception, awards, book availability, and detailed recording history. If a performer’s name was billed above the title, it is presented in italics. Entries are well written and informed, with commentary supported by quotes from the original New York theater critics. Eleven appendixes (including discography and filmography) are included. More detailed than Thomas Hischak’s Broadway Plays and Musicals or Ethan Mordden’s Coming up Roses: The Broadway Musical in the 1950s (2000), this is a valuable resource. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
— Choice Reviews
Numerous and notable musicals made their initial runs in the 1950s. Dan Dietz, a professor of English and the history of modern drama, compiles performance data (e.g., number of performances, specific songs, opening and closing dates, reception history), cast members, composers, writers, directors, producers, and information about musicals, for those produced from 1950 to 1959, encompassing the 1949-1950 through the 1959-1960 seasons. . . . The book presents 206 musicals that opened on Broadway during the 1950s: this includes 71 with new music, 2 with pre-existing music, 5 operas, several revues and plays, and 50 revivals. Several appendixes add data. The first, an alphabetic list of musicals, designates the years only when another musical of that title was produced. Others appendixes present chronologies, one by season, another by classification, a discography, filmography, the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, two lists by the theater producing the musical (New York City Center Light Opera Company, and New York City Opera Company), a selective list of other productions staged in New York City, published scripts, and theaters (with the musicals they presented). The author used italics to display cast members who were billed above the musical’s title. While some reference books display headers to ease navigation, this work employs only the season. The index, though, usefully guides the user to the desired musical.
— American Reference Books Annual