BWW Book Reviews: THE BROADWAY MUSICALS QUIZ BOOK
Laura Frankos is an evil person.
I've fancied myself a student of musical theatre for most of my life. Post-performance parties in high school evolved into cut-throat "name that tune" games: the more obscure the musical theatre reference the better. I interviewed Bob Fosse as part of my grad school studies on the development of the director-choreographer. I've performed, directed, stage managed and been entertained by hundreds of productions over the years. An accurate count would be impossible. So I sat down to read The Broadway Musical Quiz Book by Laura Frankhos feeling pretty full of myself.
Exit stage left: feeling humbled.
Exhaustively researched and endlessly entertaining, The Broadway Musical Quiz Book is a must for musical theatre fanatics everywhere. Laid out like a Playbill, Frankhos begins with "Setting": not just musicals set in Great Britain, Italy or France, but various workplaces, colleges, imaginary places...you get the idea.
You are bound to learn a lot in the "Time" section, which takes the reader from the early 1900's thru the first decade of this century. We see the Broadway musical evolve from Ziegfeld Follies and German operettas in the early 20th century to patriotic musicals by World War II. Once Oklahoma arrives, the second half of the century seems hell-bent on redefining the genre every season.
There are matching quizzes and fill-in-the-blanks quizzes, but most are multiple choice...not that that's always helpful:
Q: In 1959's Take Me Along, Robert Morse sings of meeting his love, but when?