This student friendly introduction examines the beginnings of musical theatre in the 1800's. The chapters progress chronologically and thematically through the early “gentlemen” composers George M. Cohen, Jerome Kern, and Irving Berlin, the musicals of the Great Depression, and the Golden Age of the musical from 1943 to 1959. The material in the text also explores humor's role in conveying serious ideas, and the advent of the variety show.
The book includes quizzes, tests, biographies, and essay assignments, as well as extensive lists of viewing and listening recommendations. A complete curriculum within one text, Musical Theatre is designed for courses in musical theatre or theatre history.