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Musicals of the Late 1950s



The Music Man

Willson, Meredith. The Music Man. Libretto by Meredith Willson;
story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey.
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c1958
Second impression
Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays

The Music Man. Souvenir Album.
New York: [1958?]
Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays

Meredith Willson's The Music Man is a tour de force of American nostalgia;
Willson wrote libretto, music and lyrics, with the result that all elements
are remarkably well-integrated. The play is noteworthy for the inclusion of a
barbershop quartet, whose songs weave in and out of many scenes,
providiing continuity to the piece. Notable songs include Till There Was You,
Good-night, My Someone, and Seventy-Six Trombones. Robert Preston, a
previously non-singing actor, found one of his best roles in Prof. Harold Hill.


Gypsy

Styne, Jule. Gypsy : a musical (suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee).
Libretto by Arthur Laurents . Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
New York : Random House, c1960
Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays

Styne, Jule. Let Me Entertain You. Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
New York: Williamson Music, Inc., 1960.
Sheet Music Collection

Gypsy provided Ethel Merman with her last major new roles, and established
Stephen Sondheim as a significant figure in American musical theatre. The play
is really the story of Gypsy Rose Lee's mother, Rose, the archetypal stage mother.
The show boasted an extraordinary number of well-remembered songs, including
Everything's Coming up Roses, Let Me Entertain You, Small World, Some
People, Together Wherever We Go, You'll Never Get Away From Me, and
the shattering Rose's Turn.



The Sound of Music

Rodgers, Richard. The Sound of Music: a new musical play. Lyrics by Oscar
Hammerstein II. Libretto by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse; (suggested by
The Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp)
New York : Random House, c1960
Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays

Rodgers, Richard. My Favorite Things. Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.
Cover illustration: George Martin
New York: Williamson Music, Inc., 1959.

The Sound of Music proved to be Oscar Hammerstein II's last show; he died
soon after it opened in 1960. Often dismissed as cloyingly sentimental and preachy,
it proved enormously popular. Notable songs included Edelweiss, Climb Ev'ry
Mountain, Do Re Mi, My Favorite Things, and the title song.
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