Definitive Musical for each Decade of 20th Century

Rentaholic2
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EDIT: I've adjusted the list to fit what I've gathered to be the popular opinion.

I'm trying to list a definitive musical for each decade of the 20th century (musical that sums up that decade, doesn't have to be written in that decade). Any suggestions? Here's my initial thoughts:

1900s - Ragtime
1910s - Titanic or Mary Poppins
1920s - Chicago or Thoroughly Modern Millie
1930s - Cabaret
1940s - On the Town
1950s - West Side Story
1960s - Hair
1970s A Chorus Line
1980s - The Wedding Singer (I'm gonna leave it at this, only because I'm unfamiliar with Falsettos, though many agree that it is a better choice)
1990s - Rent



Updated On: 7/23/06 at 12:12 AM
jesseeinstein
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oh dear...
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SDav 10495
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"Titanic" is a possibility for the 1910s...it does deal quite a bit with the hubris of the beginning of that decade.

I might also suggest "The Sound of Music" for the 1930s (although I think "Cabaret" is better for that slot) and "West Side Story" for the 1950s (although "Grease" is probably more evocative of the stereotypical 1950s-land we all imagine).

And a question--are you looking for musicals that defined the decade in general, or that defined what theatre was like from that decade?
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Rentaholic2
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lol shut up, you know you wanna
Rentaholic2
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define the decade in general...and good suggestions
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Smaxie
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Can I nominate On the Town for the '40s?
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kenmarksnj
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since when did rent take place the 90s?
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Smaxie
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And much as I don't want to dislodge Dreamgirls, you can't have a more iconic '70s musical than A Chorus Line.
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safran
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"since when did rent take place the 90s?"

since before columbus/chbosky made a film of it. although there wasn't a real date, i think the majority of the opinion was it was 90s. (Just lyrically, there are references to Oklahoma City and Thelma and Louise...or am I completely off-base.)
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singtopher
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I would say Saturday Night Fever for the 70's. Maybe Swing! for the 40's. Gee, maybe we should compile a list of Jukebox musicals for each decade.
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nealb1
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I'd say "Mame" for the 20's, and "A Chorus Line" for the 70's.
musicalsaregreat
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1930s - 42nd St.
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JackiesBroJoe
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Wedding Singer for 80's? Grow up.
Jon
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1940's - either ON THE TOWN or SOUTH PACIFIC.
MargoChanning
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How about NO NO NANNETTE for the 20s?
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Michael Bennett
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MARY POPPINS takes place in 1910. It deals with the suffragette movement and I'm pretty sure most households back then had flying nannies.
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bigbigbill
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AH!! Rent makes me so mad. It isn't a good show, I'm sorry.
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munkustrap178
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I think RENT is a perfect choice for the 90's.

Yeah, THE WEDDING SINGER for the 80's is a joke...you can do better than that. What about SONG AND DANCE?
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Mattbrain
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This thread is for musicals that sum up a decade, not musicals that were popular in that decade (and in many cases, still are popular today.) I think The Wedding Singer does sum up the 80s and there are a lot of shows that sum up the 20s.
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There's Act Two of Sunday in the Park with George. I don't know...a representative "80s" musical is not so easy.
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Guys and Dolls for the 1950's?
If Percy Blakeney were in Les Mis....

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best12bars
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"This thread is for musicals that sum up a decade, not musicals that were popular in that decade..."

Exactly. Which is why I find it kinda strange.

RENT didn't sum up the '90s for me at all. It was more about the '80s with Jon Larson, and that brief time I spent hanging out with him and others in that group while we were all struggling in NYC in the mid-'80s. Still, I think of that as such a SPECIFIC experience for a relatively small group of "bohemians" living as artists in Manhattan. And I had just come from a college town in Kansas, where the world of "Rent" was as alien as that of "The Jetsons." Not exactly a global experience that would speak to all.

But I would be more inclined to pick musicals that were a product of their time, at the moment they made their big splash on Broadway. For that, I would say Rent was "the musical of the '90s" even if it didn't really summarize the '90s at all.

I would also say "A Chorus Line" was THE '70s musical (on those terms).

Hair was THE '60s musical.

Not sure if there was a '50s musical IN the '50s that summarized the '50s.

I'm gonna stop now because, for me, there are too many caveats in this thread.
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"Chess" was quite the 80s extravaganza.
Jon
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How about FALSETTOS for the 80's? After all, was there a more significant event than the AIDS epidemic?
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algy
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The musical of Mary Poppins doesn't deal with the Suffragettes. Well as it stands in London it doesn't anyway. Mrs Banks is a "retired" actress I think. I may have misremembered - Mary Poppins wasn't a musical that stuck in my mind.

I've a feeling that they may have time shifted it slightly as well...