Broadway musicals of the 1900s saw the emergence of George M. Cohan and his quintessentially American musical comedies which featured contemporary American stories, ragtime-flavored songs, and a tongue-in-cheek approach to musical comedy conventions. But when the Austrian import The Merry Widow opened in 1907, waltz-driven operettas became all the rage.
In The Complete Book of 1900s Broadway Musicals, Dan Dietz surveys every single book musical that opened during the decade. Each musical has its own entry which features the following:
Numerous appendixes include a chronology of book musicals by season; chronology of revues; chronology of revivals of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas; a selected discography; filmography; published scripts; Black musicals; long and short runs; and musicals based on comic strips. The most comprehensive reference work on Broadway musicals of the 1900s, this book is an invaluable and significant resource for all scholars, historians, and fans of Broadway musicals.
Dan Dietz was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Off-Broadway Musicals, 1910-2007: Casts, Credits, Songs, Critical Reception and Performance Data of More Than 1,800 Shows (2010), which was selected as one of the outstanding reference sources of 2011 by the American Library Association. He is also the author of Rowman & Littlefield’s decade-by-decade references on Broadway Musicals, from The Complete Book of 1910s Broadway Musicals to The Complete Book of 2010s Broadway Musicals.
With this volume, Dietz completes his coverage of Broadway musicals of the entire 20th century and the first two decades of the 21st. The present volume covers the 399 musicals that opened between January 1, 1900, and December 31, 1910. The works included are unusual compared to those of later decades: many were limited-engagement road productions with about eight Broadway appearances. Most of the shows and their creators are now forgotten, and Dietz scoured old flyers and clippings to collect information. However, some names will ring a bell—George M. Cohan and Victor Herbert are prominent. Dietz relies heavily on newspapers and reviews; he notes that New York reviewers often ignored these productions, but his amusing comments make for delightful browsing throughout. Broadway fans as well as academic readers will appreciate this addition to the series, indeed the entire series. Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals; general readers.
7/14/22, Choice: This book was featured in a roundup of forthcoming books in “Performing Arts & Mass Media.”