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The Complete Book of 1920s Broadway Musicals


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About the Author

Dan Dietz taught graduate and undergraduate courses in composition, world literature, and the history of modern drama at Western Carolina University. He is the author of The Complete Book of 1930s Broadway Musicals (2018), The Complete Book of 1940s Broadway Musicals (2015), The Complete Book of 1950s Broadway Musicals (2014), The Complete Book of 1960s Broadway Musicals (2014), The Complete Book of 1970s Broadway Musicals (2015), The Complete Book of 1980s Broadway Musicals (2016), The Complete Book of 1990s Broadway Musicals (2016), and The Complete Book of 2000s Broadway Musicals (2017), all published by Rowman & Littlefield.


With this volume dedicated to the 1920s, Dietz nears completion of his detailed chronological set of books on Broadway shows. In earlier volumes (all reviewed in these pages), he covered 1930 through 2009. The 287 musicals opening between January 1, 1920, and December 31, 1929--compare to 28 opened in the 1930s--included shows with new music, revues, plays with incidental music (often by Broadway's greatest composers--Kern, Gershwin, Porter, et al.), operas that received their New York premieres, imports, pre-Broadway closings, and special engagements. As in the previous volumes, Dietz gives plot summaries, casts and crews, run dates, critical commentary, musical numbers and performers, source material, awards and nominations, and other data. The volume concludes with 13 useful appendixes, including one on Gilbert and Sullivan productions and another on black-themed shows such as Shuffle Along. Dietz relies heavily on critical commentaries and newspaper reviews, but his additional comments make for an enjoyable, sometimes hilarious complement to the fact-based narratives. Like the rest of the volumes in the set, this one will be a valuable resource for those interested in musical theater. Summing Up: Recommended. Researchers, faculty, general readers.--CHOICE
[A] well-researched reference book. . . This heavy, four pound, 650-page volume cover the plot summary, cast members, important dates and some fairly lengthy "critical commentaries" of over 285 "book shows". There is a basic discography. . . I keep picking up this book and just diving in anywhere.--Steve Ramm's Anything Phonographic

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