Musical Theatre History

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    Musical Theater History

  • West Side Story

    West Side Story
    West Side Story is one of the most famous of the modern reimagining of Romeo and Juliette. Written by Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurence it is one of the most famous musicals even today. West Side Story went through many different stages before it became what it is today and was originally intended to be a story about the conflict between a Catholic and a Jewish family but was abandoned since it tackled the same issues as many other plays.
    The musical opened on Broadway in 1957.
  • Sound of Music

    Sound of Music
    The sound of Music was written by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and it's adapted from the biography of Maria von Trapp. The musical opened on Broadway in 1959. Many of the songs have become classics and it is still successful and ended its UK tour in October 2011.
  • Michael Ball is Born

    Michael Ball is Born
    Michael Ball was born in Bromsgrove. His voice hasn't been trained. His first big role was as Marius in Les Miserables on the West End. During this production he caught glandular fever, he still had fatigue after he returned and suffered from anxiety and left Les Miz due to his depression. His next role was as Raul in Phantom by Macintosh's request. His first Broadway role was Alex in Webber's Aspects of Love and Love Changes Everything became his signature song. Can't write more, it cut me off
  • Cabaret Opens

    Cabaret Opens
    Cabaret was based on a book by Christopher Isherwood. The musical was written by John Kander and Fred Ebb. It first opened on Broadway and later moved on to the West End.
  • Lea Salonga is Born

    Lea Salonga is Born
    Lea Salonga was born on February 22nd, 1971 by the name Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga. Her first role was in the King and I at the age of seven and her first lead was in Annie not too long after. She played Kim in Miss Saigon at the age of 18 after trying out for it in Manila with a friend of hers and was later cast as Eponine for the 10th anniversary concert and returned to play Fantine for the Broadway revival and 25th anniversary.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

     Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
    Sweeney Todd is one of Stephen Sondheim's most famous musicals. It was adapted from the play of the same name which was very loosely based on the book „The Pearl Necklace". The musical is both a thriller and a dark comedy and is still very successful, the last production ending November 2011 in the Chichester Festival Theater with Michael Ball (the king of West End) in the title role and Imelda Staunton as Mrs. Lovett and will be possibly transferring to the West End later this year.
  • Les Miserables

    Les Miserables
    The musical Les Miserables is perhaps the most famous adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel. It was written in 1980 by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil. Five years after the original French production opened it was translated in English by Herbert Kretzmer and James Fenton. It was produced by Cameron Mackintosh and premiered on West End on October 8th 1985. The show was a huge success and even went on to Broadway in 1987.
  • Phantom of the Opera

    Phantom of the Opera
    As one of the many adaptations of the original book by Gaston LeRoux, the Phantom of the Opera has proved itself as one of the most famous reimaginings. Opening originally on West End in 1986 with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman (for who the role of Christine was written) in the leading roles. Only two years after it opened on West End, Phantom moved on to Broadway with the same main cast. Today it is still played both in London and New York and is the longest running show on Broadway.
  • Miss Saigon Opens on Broadway

    Miss Saigon Opens on Broadway
    Miss Saigon was written by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubill. It was an adaptation of the opera Madame Butterfly, and centers around the tragic romance between an American soldier and a waitress from Saigon. It opened on the West End in 1989 and was picked up on Broadway in 1991 with much of the same cast including Lea Salonga as Kim (the main role).
  • Les Miserables Cont.

    Les Miserables Cont.
    In 1995 a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of Les Miserables was thrown at the Royal Albert Hall. The cast of that event became the most well known. It was all chosen by Cameron Mackintosh. Many returned from the original productions including Colm Wilkinson (Valjean), Michael Ball (Marius), Judy Khun (Cosette) etc. There were also some newcomers like Lea Salonga who played Eponine and returned for the 2006 Broadway revival and the 25th anniversary concert as Fantine.
  • Hairspray

    Hairspray is the musical adaptation of the 1988 film of the same name. The music was written by Mark Shaiman and the lyrics by Scott Whittman. It first opened in Seattle in 2002 and moved on to Broadway later that same year.
  • Wicked

    Wicked was written by Stephen Schwartz and based on the book by Gregory Magwire and tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West. It tried out in San Francisco in 2003 and went to Broadway that same year with Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth in the main roles.