Society for American Music
Bulletin, Volume XXVII, no. 1 (Spring 2001)
If You Asked Me I Could Write a Book: An Approach to a Broadway Musical Theater Canon
By Paul Laird, University of Kansas
Several years ago discussion of canons was all the rage in musicology with the act of construction
as controversial as content. Whether or not canons should be formed, however, seems an inappropriate
question, because the very act of choosing listening examples for a class constructs a canon of
sorts for one's students. When choosing listening examples, it is practically impossible to avoid influence
from pre-existing canons, either because we believe there are works that students should know
or because we want them to hear, for example, a different Mozart symphony.
Canonic formulation for operas, symphonies, Lieder, or piano concertos is by now unavoidable, and
in some genres canonic construction seems even more important because of inadequate representation
in music history textbooks. In the last few decades, our discipline has shown greater interest in
American vernacular music, especially jazz, blues, rock, and the Broadway musical. Whether or not
canons have been formed in the first three of these genres is not the question for this paper,
but no consensus has been reached on which Broadway musicals students should know. The genre
has long been a staple for performances by college and university music departments and many students
sing Broadway songs in vocal studios. While performers sing Broadway musicals, however, music
historians seldom help students learn enough about the genre so that a student might, for example,
be able to place a famous Broadway show in an historical context. Given the staying power
of Broadway musicals in American culture, the stylistic diversity of their music, and their importance
in the history of film, surely we owe our students more than a cursory knowledge of Oklahoma!,
West Side Story, or one or two other shows.
The question of musicological canons is addressed from several angles in Disciplining Music:
Musicology and Its Canons (University of Chicago Press, 1992), edited by Katherine Bergeron and
Philip V. Bohlman. In his "Epilogue," Bohlman notes that "very few of musicology's endeavors
fail to exhibit some investment in canons and canonizing." (p. 198). He describes the process of
canonic formulation: discovering a repertory with "some putative value" or "conscious repudiation
of the past"; a shift in mindset from the past and present as works are appropriated for use in the
future; and finally the canon's replication in publications. (pp. 203-04)
Certainly these steps occur in the Broadway musical theater, where various canons already exist, usually
for reasons of commercial success. Beginnning with Show Boat (1927), there are three or
four dozen shows that have never left the repertory because they offer presenting organizations
a marketable product. Another canon includes Broadway songs that are "standards." Replication
of these canons occurs in performances and books.
A canon formed for educational purposes, however, must be broader, presenting in itself a sketch
history of Broadway. Members of this panel recently confronted the de facto formulation of
such a canon when assembling a table of contents for The Cambridge Companion to the Musical,
currently being written. The canon presented here exists at two levels: (1) a larger list of thirty-two
shows from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries of special importance for reasons of innovation,
as representative of a significant creative team or type of show, as a vehicle for an important
star, or for a combination of reasons; and (2) a smaller subset of eleven shows intended to stand for the
Broadway show among symphonies, concertos, operas, jazz, and other Western genres. The larger list
could serve as the basis for a course in Broadway history or as a handout for an undergraduate or
graduate survey course on twentieth century music, encouraging students to explore Broadway history
in greater detail. Below we briefly survey the list, citing reasons for the inclusion of each. This is,
to be sure, a subjective exercise designed to start discussion, which I hope we will have in this
session and perhaps continue over lunch. On your handout (see Table 1) the eleven shows for the
shorter list are indicated with an asterisk. The list will be explained further at the end of
The five shows from before 1900 are not easily accessible today, but all represent a seminal
point in the genre's history. The Black Crook (1866) is cited usually as the first
important Broadway musical. After more than a century of musical theater in New York City, what
made this show significant was that it brough together the basic elements that distinguished Broadway
shows for the next several decades: a loose plot, interpolated songs, comedy, dancing, and the allure
of women in brief costumes. The show ran for an astonishing 475 performances, proof of a new
era's dawning in New York's commercial theater. Evangeline (1874) was a burlesque that ran only
two weeks in its initial run, but it became one of the most popular Americna musicals until the
end of the century. Robin Hood (1891), with book and lyrics by Harry B. Smith and music by
Reginald De Koven, was produced in New York by the Boston Ideal Opera Company for a short run while
on a national tour. This show helped introduce a cotemporary sensibility into the American musical.
Despite being based on the medieval English legend, Smith's dialog avoided the stilted Victorian
phrasing of the day and approached the way that Americans talk. The score included the huge hit
"Oh, Promise Me." A Trip to Chinatown (1891) opened in New York City six weeks later
after almost one year of touring. It had a simple plot and provided a tight evening of recognizably
American entertainment, an important step in the development of the musical comedy. Its run of
657 performances was the New York record for almost three decades. The Passing Show (1894)
was the first American revue, offering the combination of music, dance, women, and satire that
was to distinguish this important Broadway genre into the early 1930s.
Several shows from the first three decades of the twentieth century serve as important touchstones and
represent the three important contemporary Broadway genres: musical comedy, revue, and operetta.
In Dahomey (1903) was a musical comedy and the first full-length American show written and performed
by African-Americans to play in a major Broadway house. Lyrics were by poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, music
by Will Marion Cook, and the stars were Bert Williams and George Walker. It only ran 55 performances
in New York and later seven months in London, but it helps represent the importance of African Americans
in the history of the Broadway stage. Little Johnny Jones (1904) serves as representative of
George M. Cohan's work, a figure significant for his popularity and the breadth of his contributions
to the musical comedy until about 1920. The movie Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and the show
George M (1968) help to make Cohan's work more accessible for later generations. Victor
Herbert is another seminal creator from the period. The Red Mill (1906), which Herbert wrote
with writer Henry Blossom, combines some of the appeal of the operetta and musical comedy and
included the famed team of comics David Montgomery and Fred Stone. Among the score's hits was
"The Streets of New York." The Red Mill has been revived several times, unusual for shows
from this early generation. Often cited as ground-breaking contributions are the shows mounted
at the tiny Princess Theatre in the mid-1910s, which included the participation of composer Jerome
Kern. Very Good Eddie represents these shows here, with a book by Guy Bolton and Philip
Bartholomae and score by Kern and Schuyler Greene, among other lyricists. For this period, these
creators paid an unusual amount of attention to the integration of plot and music and Very
Good Eddie was praised as thoroughly American entertainment. THe continuing importance of
African American shows is represented by Shuffle Along (1921), with libretto by Fournoy
Miller and Aubrey Lyles and lyrics and music by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake. The show, which
ran 504 performances, helped bring jazz rhythms and African American popular dance to the
New York theater. Its huge hit was "I'm just Wild About Harry." Representative of operetta
from the period is The Student Prince (1924) with a popular score by Sigmund Romberg that
lasted in the popular consciousness past mid-century. The show carried the appeal of an
exotic locale and operatic voices and later became a major vehicle ofr Mario Lanza.
Show Boat (1927) is such a famous musical that it need not be described here. Historians
note Kern and Hammerstein's unusual care with integrating plot and music and the depiction of white and
African-American characters in a sprawling, undeniably American story. About a year and one-half later,
the revue Hot Chocolates (1929) opened. It was an African-American night club show with a score
by "Fats" Waller and the song "Ain't Misbehavin'." The pit orchestra included Louis Armstrong, who
also played on stage. Broadway continued to be a place to experience fine black entertainment.
No Broadway canon could be posited without the representation of George and Ira Gershwin. Possible
shows might include Oh, Kay!, Girl Crazy, or others, but perhaps their most important
contribution was Of Thee I Sing, the brilliant satire with booik by George S. Kaufman and Morrie
Ryskind. The show combines George's sure melodic sense and Ira's delightful lyrics with techniques
of operetta and several extended musical sequences. Anything Goes (1934) is a fine
representative of Cole Porter's work,including the standards "Anything Goes," "You're the Top,"
"I Get a Kick Out of You," and "All Through the Night."
Despite the close integration of plot and music in some shows, the old-time musical comedy remained
popular, a tendency found in Anything Goes, which bubbles over with comic life and dances. Another
seminal creative team of the period was Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, represented here by Pal
Joey (1940), one of their later shows. Pal Joey includes memorable examples of Rodgers
and Hart's wonderful, bittersweet songs, but also was one of the first shows in Broadway history with
an anti-hero as protagonist, paving the way for other shows that explored humankind's darker side.
Lady in the Dark (1941) included a literate book by Moss Hart and a memorable score from Ira
Gershwin and Kurt Weill. Its mature exploration of the human psyche captured enough audience to
run 441 performances and its innate seriousness foreshadowed later developments in the musical
seen in such shows as South Pacific and West Side Story.
The years between Oklahoma! (1943) and Gypsy (1959) will always rank among Broadway's
greatest period, making canonic selections here dificult. The choice of Oklahoma! is obvious
for its unconventional topic and locale handled sympathetically rather than ironically. Rodgers and
Hammerstein's extreme care with song placement, and the concern for fairly realistic plot development.
Several more of their shows could be considered canonical for reasons of innovation and continued
popularity, but with South Pacific (1949) the musical play came to its first level of
maturity, including the show's memorable treatment of prejudice and the United States at war, but
without a significant dance component. Rodgers and Hammerstein produced Annie Get Your Gun
(1946), the most successful show with a score by Irving Berlin and a vehicle for Ethel Merman, Broadway's
biggest female star in the middle of the century. Although the show includes songs difficult to
revive today, such as "I'm an Indian, Too," the score has perhaps the highest percentage of true hits
of any contemporary musical. Among the creators who followed Rodgers and Hammerstein into the genre
of the musical play were Frank Loesser and Lerner and Loewe, responsible for two of the finest
shows of the 1950s. Loesser's Guys and Dolls (1950) features seamless integration of an
excellent score and Damon Runyon's unforgettable characters from the lower rung of New York
society, adapted for the theater by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows. The show perhaps broke little new
ground, but it is so true to life and well-crafted that its appeal remains. My Fair Lady
(1956) was another notable union of music with fine literature, in this case Lerner and Loewe's
successful adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion. Broadway has seldom seem
a more literate musical show, its appeal assisted by perfect song placement, Lerner's character-specific
lyrics, and Loewe's innate melodic gift. West Side Story (1957) is almost universally
recognized as one of Broadway's finest shows for Jerome Robbin's fusion of dance and dramatic
action and Leonard Bernstein's score, which carries a sense of musical unity seldom heard on
Broadway. Arthur Laurents's book is a careful adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
with the requisite sense of leanness. Three of the show's creators (Robbins, Laurents, and lyricist
Stephen Sondheim) collaborated with composer Jule Styne on Gypsy (1959), which featured Ethel
Merman's last great role and brought the old techniques of the musical comedy to the service of
The period after 1959 saw great change for the Broadway musical in terms of economics, as shows
became more expensive to mount and producers started looking even more for blockbuster hits that
would run many hundreds of performances, making a show's longevity an important aspect of its
canonical status. Hello Dolly! (1964) is highly regarded for its record-breaking run, but it is
also representative of the composer/lyricist Jerry Herman and producer David Merrick, for the saturation
level of choreography employed by director Gower CHampion, and as a vehicle for Carol Channing,
a star who tells one much about Broadway.
Fiddler on the Roof (1964), which quickly broke Hello, Dolly!'s record for the longest-running
musical, was a fine treatment of Sholom Aleichem's Yiddish short stories and one of the last
successful musicals based upon the musical play as explored by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Fiddler
benefitted greatly from the inspired direction of Jerome Robbins and included a book adapted by Joseph Stein,
lyrics by Heldon Harrick, and music by Jerry BOck. Another director, Hal Prince, who learned
his craft from George Abbott and Jerome Robbinsk, helped bring to life Cabaret (1966) and Company
(1970). Cabaret represnets the work of composer John Kander and lyricist Frank Ebb, who helped craft a
show that carries much of the spirit of the Weill/Brecht collaborations, but in a contemporary
light. Prince made major innovations in the area of the concept musical with Cabaret, telling
the story as much with mood and metaphor as actual plot development. The show ran 1,165 performances.
Company went a step further, with George Furth's book including no conventional plot,
instead simply commenting on love and marriage in contemporary America. The show also illustrates
the work of composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim at an important juncture in his career and was
an important step for choreographer Michael Bennett.
Canonical musicals of the last quarter century include four that enjoyed, or continue to enjoy,
extremely long runs, and a later example from Sondheim. A Chorus LIne (1975) was another
concept musical with no real plot but revealing much about the lives and hopes of Broadway chorus
dancers. The material was woven into a creative whole during two workshops by a team lead by
Michael Bennett. The show's dancing was extraordinary, but sometimes overlooked are the book of
James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante and the score of composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Edward
Kleban. The show is seamless, depends upon the unity of an ensemble cast, and is in many ways a
unique work in Broadway history.
The last two decades on Broadway have seen extraordinary growth in international offerings, led
by the contributions of the British Andrew Lloyd Webber and the French team of lyricist Alain
Boubil and composer Claude-Michel Schonberg. Lloyd Webber is represented in this list by Cats
(1982) and Phantom of the Opera (1988), two works that hardly require further introduction.
Both have ardent advocats and critics, but it is indisputable that Lloyd Webber has found the
audience's wave-length, a major accomplishment in a commercial medium. Cats is a fascinating
update of the old Broadway revue and based upon nearly continuous music. Phantom shows how far the
musical theater has come in the way of spectacle. With a dramatic story told almost entirely in song,
one must respect how Lloyd Webber has popularized opera, despite his unwillingness to use the
label. Operatic intentions and huge spectacle rule as well in Schonberg and Boubil's Les
Miserables (1987), here in the service of Victor Hugo's beloved story. The work includes
many satisfying moments. Some critics have torn unmercifully into these so-called "megamusicals,"
but the fame of many shows rests on their audience appeal, undeniable in the case of these
commercial successes. Only Cats of the three has closed, and that after seventeen
continuous years in New York. The London run continues. Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with
George (1984) shows this fascinating creator at a later state in his career, writing another concept
musical about the creation of art and how one defines success, with a book by James Lapine. They
attempt more in the way of artistic merit than many wish for Broadway. The show ran one and one-half
years, long for Sondheim but short for the time, illustrating how essentially uncommercial his
As may be seen in Table 1, the following elevent shows shorm the smaller canon:
Of Thee I Sing
My Fair Lady
West Side Story
A Chorus Line
Part of the design of this shorter list is the curricular benefit of having material available on
each show, found in the list on your handout. Included here are an important African American show
and early musical comedy, an operetta by Romberg, Kern and Hammerstein's carefully-integrated Show Boat,
George and Ira Gershwin's lively satire, one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's finest shows, Lerner and
Loewe's masterpiece, the best-integrated show for music and dance of the 1950s, a masterwork from
Prince and Sondheim, and three show that introduced the single musical as lifetime business venture.
Other representative lists could be made, and I hope they are, because the advancement of a Broadway
musical canon should become a primary concern in American musical scholarship.
N.B. -- In discussion following the session, it was suggested that this canon should include a rock
musical. I would add the recent hit Rent to the list as a successful show that has adopted
successfully that musical language.
Below are shows proposed as a Broadway canon. These thirty-three shows might function as the core of a
course on Broadway history. The eleven marked with an asterisk (*) are offered as examples of
Broadway's best to be considered along with samples from other genres, possibly in courses on
music of the twentieth century or on American music. For these shows, a selective bibliography appears.
The Black Crook (1866) -- book by Charles M. Barris and songs by a number of lyricists and
Evangeline (1874) -- book by J. Cheever Goodwin and lyrics and music by Edward E. Rice.
Robin Hood (1891) -- book and lyrics by Harry B. Smith and music by Reginald De Koven.
A Trip to Chinatown (1891) -- original books and lyrics by Charles Hoyt and msuic by Percy
Gaunt, but songs by others often inserted.
The Passing Show (1894) -- first American revue, brought to the stage by George Lederer and
*In Dahomey (1903) -- lyrics by Paul Laurence Dunbar and music by Will Marion Cook;
stars included Bert Williams and George Walker.
Score and libretto: Will Marion Cook. In Dahomey, ed. Thomas L. Riis. Madison, Wis.: Published
for the American Musicological Society by A-R Editions, 1996.
Book: Gerald Bordman. American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. 2nd ed. New York and Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 192 (pp. 190-91); see also Riis's edition, cited above.
Little Johnny Jones (1904) -- book, lyrics, and music by George M. Cohan, and starring Cohan.
The Red Mill (1906) -- book and lyrics by Henry Blossom and music by Victor Herbert; stars
include David Montgomery and Fred Stone.
Very Good Eddie (1915) -- book by Guy Bolton and Philip Barholomae, music by Jerome Kern,
lyrics by Schuler Greene and others.
Shuffle Along (1921) -- book by Fournoy Miller and AUbrey Lyles, lyrics and music by Noble
Sissle and Eubie Blake.
*The Student Prince (1924) -- book and lyrics by Dorothy Donnelly, music by Sigmund
Recording: studio version with Mario Lanza: RCA Read Seal LSC-2339, 1960; 1973 revival: Columbia/Odyssey
Y32367; 1997 studio version with original orchestrations: Jay 1252.
Score: Sigmund Romberg. The Student Prince: A Spectacular Light Opera. New York: Warner Bros.
Books: Elliott Arnold. Deep in My Heart. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949; Gerald
BOrdman. American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle. 2nd ed. New York and Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 1992 (pp. 397-98).
*Show Boat (1927) -- book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Jerome
Recordings: 1966 Music Theater of Lincoln Center production: RCA Victor 09026-61182-2; 1988 studio
version with Frederica von Stade, Teresa Stratas, and Jerry Hadley, conducted by John McGlinn:
EMI CDC 7 49847 2.
Score: Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. Show Boat. New York: T.B. Harms, 1928.
Libretto: provided in 1988 recording.
Books: Geoffrey Block. Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim.
New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997 (pp. 17-40); Miles Kreuger. Show Boat: The
Story of a Classic American Musical. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977; Joseph Swain.
The Broadway Musical. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990 (pp. 15-49).
Hot Chocolates (1929) -- lyrics by Andy Razaf, music by "Fats" Waller, stars included
*Of Thee I Sing (1931) -- book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, lyrics
by Ira Gershwin, music by George Gershwin.
Recordings: 1952 Broadway revival cast: Angel ZDM 2435-65025-2; 1987 studio version with Maureen
McGovern and Larry Kert, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas: CBS M2K 42522.
Score: George and Ira Gershwin. Of Thee I Sing. New York: New World Music Corp., 1932.
Libretto: George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and Ira Gershwin. Of Thee I Sing. New York: S.
Books: Edward Jablonski and Lawrence D. Stewart. The Gershwin Years. Gardin City, NY:
Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1973; Edward Jablonski. Gershwin. New York: Doubleday, 1987;
Deena Rosenberg. Fascinatin' Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin. New York:
A Dutton Book, The Penguin Group, 1991.
Anything Goes (1934) -- book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, lyrics and music by Cole Porter.
Pal Joey (1940) -- book by John O'Hara, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers.
Lady in the Dark (1941) -- book by Moss Hart, lyrics by Ira Gershwin, music by Kurt Weill.
*Oklahoma! (1943) -- book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Richard
Recordings: 1943 Broadway original cast: MCA Records MCAD-10046; 1979 Broadway revival cast: RCA
Read Seal CBL1-3572.
Score: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Oklahoma! New York: Williamson Music;
Winona, Minn.: Distributed by H. Leonard Publishing Corp., 1943.
Libretto: 6 Plays, by Rodgers and Hammerstein. New York: Modern Library, 1959.
Books: Ethan Mordden. Rodgers & Hammerstein. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1992; Max Wilk. OK!:
The Story of Oklahoma!. New York: Grove Press, 1993.
South Pacific (1949) -- book by Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan, lyrics by Hammerstein,
music by Richard Rodgers.
Annie Get Your Gun (1946) -- book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, lyrics and music by Irving
Guys and Dolls (1950) -- book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, lyrics and music by Frank Loesser.
*My Fair Lady (1956) -- book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe.
Recordings: 1956 Broadway original cast: Columbia OL 5090; 1958 London original cast: COlumbia CK 2015;
1976 Broadway revival cast: Columbia PS 34197; 1997 studio version: Jay 1277.
Score: Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner. My Fair Lady, Rev. ed. Winona, Minn.: Distributed
by Hal Leonard Publishing Corp., 1969.
Libretto: Alan Jay Lerner. My Fair Lady. New York: Coward-McCann, 1956.
Books: Geoffrey Block. Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim.
New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997 (pp. 225-244); Gene Lees. Inventing Champagne:
The Worlds of Lerner and Loewe. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990; Alan Jay Lerner. The Street
Where I Live. New York: W.W. Norton, 1978; Joseph Swain. The Broadway Musical. New York and
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990 (pp. 179-204).
*West Side Story (1957) -- book by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim,
music by Leonard Bernstein, directed and conceived by Jerome Robbins.
Recordings: 1957 Broadway original cast: Columbia CK 32603; 1985 recorded version with Kiri Te Kanawa,
Jose Carreras, Tatiana Troyanos, Kurt Ollmann, and Marilyn Horne, conducted by Leonard Bernstein,
Deutsche Grammophon 415 253-2.
Score: Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. West Side Story. New York: G. Schirmer, 1959.
Libretto: William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet/Artur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim, West
Side Story. New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1965.
Books: Geoffrey Block. Enchanted Evenings: The Broadway Musical from Show Boat to Sondheim.
New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997 (pp. 245-273); Keith Garebian. The Making of "West
Side Story. Toronto: ECW Press, 1995; Joseph Swain. The Broadway Musical. New York and
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990 (p. 205-246).
Gypsy (1959) -- book by Arthur Laurents, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, music by Jule
Styne, directed by Jerome Robbins.
Hello, Dolly! (1964) -- book adapted by Michael Stewart, lyrics and music by Jerry Herman.
Fiddler on the Roof (1964) -- book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, music by
Jerry Bock, directed by Jerome Robbins.
Cabaret (1966) -- lyrics by Fred Ebb, music by John Kander, directed by Hal Prince.
*Company (1970) -- book by George Furth, lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim,
directed by Hal Prince.
Recording: 1970 Broadway original cast: Columbia OS 3550.
Score: Stephen Sondheim. Company. New York: C. Hansen, 1971.
Libretto: George Furth and Stephen Sondheim. Company. New York: Random House, 1970.
Books: Stephen Banfield. Sondheim's Broadway Musicals. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan
Press, 1993; Craig Zadan. Sondheim & Co. 2nd ed., updated. New York: Da Capo Press, 1994.
*A Chorus Line (1975) -- book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, lyrics by
Edward Kleban, music by Marvin Hamlisch.
Recording: 1975 Broadway original cast: Columbia SK 65282.
Score: Marvin Hamlisch. A Chorus Line. N.p.: E.H. Morris, 1977.
Libretto: James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, and Edward Kleban. A Chorus Line. New York:
Books: Denny Martin Flinn. What They Did for Love: The Untold Story Behind the Making of A
Chorus Line. New York: Bantam Books, 1989; Ken Mandelbaum. A Chorus Line and the Musicals
of Michael Bennett. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989; Joseph Swain. The Broadway
Musical. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990 (pp. 309-18); Robert Viagas, Baayork
Lee, and Thommie Walsh. On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line. New YOrk: William
Morrow and Company, Inc., 1990.
*Cats (1982) -- based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S.
Eliot, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Recording: 1982 Broadway original cast: Geffen Records 2GHS 2031.
Score: Andrew Lloyd Webber. Cats: The Songs from the Musical. London: Faber Music; New
York: Entertainment Co., 1981.
Libretto: Cats: the Book of the Musical. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983.
Books: Michael Walsh. Andrew Lloyd Webber: His Life and Works. New York: Harry N. Abrams,
Inc., 1989, 1997.
Sunday in the Park with George (1984) -- lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim, book written
and directed by James Lapie.
*Les Miserables (1987) -- lyrics by Alain Boublil, music by Claude-Michel Schonberg.
Recording: 1987 Broadway original cast: Geffen REcords GHS 24151.
Score: Claude-Michel Schonberg. Cameron Mackintoch presents Les Miserables Winona, Minn.: H.
Leonard Publishing Corp., 1987.
Libretto: provided by Edward Behr (see below).
Books: Edward Behr. The Complete Book of Les Miserables. New York: Arcade Pub., 1989.
Phantom of the Opera (1988) -- lyrics by Charles Hart and additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe,
music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Paul R. Laird is professor of music at the University of Kansas. He chairs the Musical Theatre Interest Group of the
Society for American Music. This paper was presented at the Toronto 2000: Musical