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When was Broadway's golden age?

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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:29pm
It's right now. Broadway just had its BEST YEAR EVER.

12.3 MILLION people attended Broadway shows this year.
Best. Year. Ever.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:34pm
Does that mean attendance = quality?

Or is it $$ taken in = quality?

Or is it just as the world population grows, tourism grows, and more people in and visiting New York means more people seeing shows? Could it merely be that, maybe?
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:36pm
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:45pm
^ I feel something akin to love for you, growl.
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:55pm
It means that in 2012, more people attended Broadway shows than in 1947....or 1959....or ever. Whatever it means, it's INCREDIBLE NEWS, isn't it?
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
JoeKv99 Profile Photo
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 12:57pm
Does that mean attendance = quality?

No, more standing ovations = quality.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
newintown Profile Photo
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:00pm
That was what I thought, but just wasn't sure.
Buscee
Featured Actor
joined:7/9/05
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:03pm
I do believe that when people refer to the "Golden Age" it is not in regards to attendance. The Golden Age would be 1943-1966.
Rodgers and Hammerstein, ETC... We may have great attendance now, but the shows are not as good. IMHO
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taboo123
Broadway Legend
joined:5/27/05
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:41pm
late 40's through 50's.

There were a LOT more choices and theaters to go to.

A lot more dramas and definitely a lot more musicals

The choices are scarce today.
and they weren't turning theaters into McDonald's and Sephoras.

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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:53pm
And yet, with less theaters and less choices (and less shows) MORE people are going to the theater than in the 1940's or 50's.

And giving them a standing O when they do.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
newintown Profile Photo
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:59pm
I guess Wicked must be the apotheosis of theatre. At this juncture, at least.
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 02:08pm
Well now you are just being silly, New. Whoop Up is the apotheosis of theater.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 02:14pm
I'm pretty sure Whoop Up was in 1958... OK, now I'm confused.
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 02:38pm
Yes it was. And no moment will ever equal Susan Johnson stepping forward to sing When the Tall Man Talks. Talk about your apotheosis!
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 02:56pm
I think "Golden Age" is one of those terms that has to be defined every time it is used. I know scholars who think R&H were bad for the musical theater as a formalist art form and think the "Golden Age" was the 20s and 30s, when musical theater was less representational. And yet 1943-66 or 1943-73 makes sense to a lot of us.

Updated On: 12/4/12 at 02:56 PM
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Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 04:16pm
Well we all know what 1943 signifies but what are folks thinking when they flag the end of the Golden Age at 1966 or 1973? The last year before Hair premiered off-broadway to usher in Rock scores? I can't imagine what '73 commemorates-- uh... A Little Night Music was the last of the great Operetta book musicals? I give up.

I always went with 1964 to end the era with Hello Dolly and Fiddler. The next epoch would wait for Kander and Ebb and Sondheim's heyday.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 04:56pm
A fatuous question, since everyone knows exactly when it was, the term being as consecrated as The Golden Age in Spanish or French literature.

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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 05:07pm
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GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 05:46pm
Well we all know what 1943 signifies but what are folks thinking when they flag the end of the Golden Age at 1966 or 1973? The last year before Hair premiered off-broadway to usher in Rock scores? I can't imagine what '73 commemorates-- uh... A Little Night Music was the last of the great Operetta book musicals? I give up.

I pulled "1973" out of the air, but the fact is Sondheim was trained and mentored in the R&H style and while he was simultaneously deconstructing the R&H format and pointing toward the new, his writing for COMPANY, FOLLIES and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC represent some of the best writing of the "Golden Age".

So, no, I can't stop with DOLLY and FIDDLER. But that's just me. As I said before, I think everyone needs to define the "Golden Age" when s/he uses the term.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 05:49pm
"COMPANY, FOLLIES and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC represent some of the best writing of the "Golden Age". "

More like the Clay Age.
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themysteriousgrowl
Broadway Legend
joined:11/10/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/4/12 at 05:51pm
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brian.klimowski
Understudy
joined:7/30/10
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/5/12 at 04:46pm
I always considered the Golden Age as when shows became more representational, and songwriters began writing for characters to advance their storytelling in-song. I always considered Oklahoma and Brigadoon to be some of the first musicals that represented this new style.
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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/5/12 at 05:38pm
Since 1900, the answer to the question when was the Golden Age of Broadway has always been the same.

"50 years ago"
Franciouqu
Chorus Member
joined:12/1/12
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/5/12 at 08:13pm
I think musicals do not have a a golden age we a constantly expecting more and delivering more technically and book wise for a musical and song rise. Having said that the bright light came for a musical when http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_Thee_I_Sing won critical acclaim. But I think there a flops and problems with every year. But every year when there is a musical that tries something new that we have not seen before.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/5/12 at 08:39pm
Gaveston I see your point: "I pulled "1973" out of the air, but the fact is Sondheim was trained and mentored in the R&H style and while he was simultaneously deconstructing the R&H format and pointing toward the new, his writing for COMPANY, FOLLIES and A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC represent some of the best writing of the "Golden Age". "

But I think (ugh obviously every single person thinks of the Golden Age as different) that one thing that's often taken into consideration was when Broadway still had a large presence on the nation as a whole, and led the various forms. Sure there was O'Neil and others before, but most people consider the prime of great playwrighting that was also commercially important being the 40s and 50s (Williams, Inge, Miller, etc). It's been said before that up through the 60s Hollywood often went to Broadway first to look for thins to adapt, now they look more at novels (or tv shows... :P )

Similarly, up until maybe the mid 60s, musical theatre had a huge nationwide influence--radio play, etc, and it was also startingt o be taken seriously. By 1970 with Company that had already greatly diminished, even if the 70s are my personal fave decade for musicals. So I do think it's a combo of the quality but also the mainstream success.
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Paul W. Thompson
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/07
When was Broadway's golden age?
Posted: 12/6/12 at 03:24am
I'm beginning to adore this thread. Fact is, I've been trying to pin down the end of the Golden Age of the Broadway Musical (1943-?) for most of my adult life! One could make a case for almost any year from 1956 through 1982. And how long should a Golden Age be? Longer than two decades seems odd. Most folks seem to use 1964 or 1965, I think....

It's interesting when you consider this: Most of the time you don't realize an Age has ended until you realize you'r already started a new one. And as 1943 marked a beginning, it would be nice to find another beginning, rather than an ending.

So, when did Broadway seem different than it had been in the late 40s and early 50s? I think you have to consider the onset of television and rock and roll on the observation habits and musical tastes of middle class Americans, and find when Broadway responded to them with something new. And of course, those things were gradual, though Elvis (1957) and The Beatles (1964) and color television (1966?) set milestones.

My best date at present for a new start is 1968. "Hair" moved to Broadway that year, and competed against "Promises, Promises" at the 1969 Tonys. And what did 1967 give us? Not much. So, I'm comfortable with 1943-1967 as the Golden Age, with the Silver Age as 1968-1993. I think the present age (Bronze?) is 1994-2018 or 2019 (we're almost ready for something new!). And the prior age (Stone?) was 1927-1942. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!


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