Music Theatre History I
Class Assignments for Fall Semester 2016
Lecturer: John Kenrick
With the exception of our first class, students are expected to read or view the required materials for each week beforehand. On the assigned day, be prepared for active discussion, as well as oral and occasional written quizzes on these materials.
- Required reading assignments use the page numbers from the hardcover edition of my textbook.
- ONLINE: In case you do not have immediate access to the textbook, use the links to related pages on Musicals101.com -- but do get yourself a copy of the assigned text.
- If you have any questions regarding these assignments, please contact John Kenrick at email@example.com.
- Optional and For more items are exactly that -- not required, but additional material that can enrich your learning experience.
- For More suggests worthwhile reading for anyone interested in doing further research. These are not required materials -- just listed in case a particular subject grabs you.
- Exam and Research Paper dates are noted.
- Link to the Fall semester syllabus.
Week 1 (9/9)
Definitions & Beginnings: Antiquity to Ballad Opera
Week 2 (9/16)
Continental Operetta: Offenbach & Strauss
- Required: Kenrick: pp. 35-49
- ONLINE: Musicals101 - European Operetta
Week 3 (9/23)
British Music Halls, Minstrelsy & Variety
Week 4 (9/30)
Early American Musicals
Week 5 (10/7)
Gilbert & Sullivan
- Required: Kenrick: pp. 75-94
- ONLINE: Musicals 101 - G&S Page 1, Page 2, Page 3
- For More: G&S Canon, Bibliography & Suggested Links
Week 6 (10/14)
Anatomy of a Hit: The Merry Widow
- Required : Kenrick: pp. 128-133
- ONLINE: Widow scene, Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3, Gallery 4
- Optional: Musicals101 - Widow Page 1, Page 2, Page 3
- For More: Bordman, Gerald. American Operetta. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981. A fine look at the beginnings of the musical in America. Includes detailed discussion of The Merry Widow's first Broadway production in 1907.
- For More: Grun, Bernard. Gold and Silver: The Life and Times of Franz Lehar. New York: David McKay Co., 1970. Charming and informative, this book includes extensive coverage of The Merry Widow, as well as a refreshing assessment of Lehar's controversial final years.
- For More: Traubner, Richard. Operetta: A Theatrical History. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1983 The ultimate love letter to operetta, with superb scholarship throughout. A new paperback edition appeared in 2003.
Week 7 (10/21)
Vaudeville & Burlesque
YOUR MID-TERM EXAM is during this class
- Required: Kenrick: pp. 95-110
- Optional: Vaudeville Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4
- For More: Gallery 1, Gallery 2, Gallery 3
- For More: Links & Suggested Reading
Week 8 (10/28)
Career in Profile: George M. Cohan
Week 9 (11/4)
Victor Herbert & Irving Berlin
- Required: Kenrick: pp. 111-117, 142-145
Week 10 (11/11)
Revues: Ziegfeld's Follies
- Required: Kenrick: pp. 122-127, 145-155
- RESEARCH PAPER DUE - IN CLASS - NO E-MAIL SUBMISSIONS
Week 11 (11/18)
Jerome Kern: The Princess Musicals and Beyond
- Required: Kenrick: 134-142
- For More: Bordman, Gerald. Jerome Kern: His Life and Music. New York: Oxford University Press 1980. The definitive resource on Kern and his work. It is all here, a magnificent example of research.
11/25 - THANKSGIVING BREAK - HAPPY HOLIDAY!
Week 12 (12/2)
Career in Profile: Al Jolson
- Required: Kenrick: 156-167
- Optional: Jolson 101
- For More: Goldman, Howard. Jolson: The Legend Comes To Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988. One of the best theatrical bios ever. The appendix covering Jolson's entire performance history still astounds me, both as a career and as an academic resource.
Week 13 (12/9)
The 1920s: Hot Times, Great Talents
- Required: Kenrick: 168-206
- Optional: Musicals101 - 1920s Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5
- For More: Kruger, Miles. Show Boat: The Story of a Classic American Musical. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. (Updated soft cover edition - New York: Da Capo, 1990) The complete history of Showboat in all its incarnations up to the publication dates, this well written book is a model of scholarly research blended with passion for the musical theatre. This volume inspired the historic John McGlinn recording of the uncut score, as well as the wondrous 90's revival.
Week 14 (12/16)
1930-1940s: Something is Stirring
- Final Exam
- You must attend and take this brief exam in-class -- no exceptions.
- No reading assignment for this class