Broadway has captivated audiences for over a century, with cutting-edge plots, music and lyrics that mirror our multi-faceted society.
Join David & his talented troupe of singers, dancers & actors on this journey that celebrates the riches of Broadway — past & present.
Where: Arts at St. Johns, 4760 Pinetree Drive,
Miami Beach, FL 33140
TIX: $20 adults, $15 online/seniors/students
Buy tickets online at www.artsatstjohns.com
We thank The Miami Salon Group for its generous grant for this program. Thanks also to the City of Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Program and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs for their support.
Arts at St. Johns presents a new Broadway revue about the birth and blossoming of the American musical since its inception over 100 years ago. The Broadway musical, a true American art form, often mirrors society – at its best and worst. Thousands of shows have been created — with endless plots, subjects, styles, settings and genres. The Broadway musical evolved alongside American culture- and sometimes paved the way.
Recently, numerous Broadway shows have closed in New York due to the new economic crisis – ticket sales are low and audiences are dwindling. Will Broadway survive? We believe it absolutely will!
In the late 1800’s, the format of the Broadway musical originated in New York City through a collaboration of talented theater actors, vaudeville performers and burlesque dancers, led by the lavish producer Florenz Ziegfeld. The first popular shows were written by great American composers such as the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, and Jerome Kern and were campy, fun, and poetic, with plots, songs, flashy costumes and at times, risquÃ© subject matter.
The stock-market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression profoundly affected Broadway theater, causing the number of productions to decline dramatically. But writers and performers never gave up their passion and love of Musical Theater.
Paradoxically, the period after the Depression was quite creative and spawned THE GOLDEN AGE OF BROADWAY, starting in the early 40’s with classic greats such as Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, The King and I, Hello Dolly and My Fair Lady. Composers such as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Lowe, Kander and Ebb, and Jerry Herman churned out Broadway blockbusters. These shows also created huge stars including Julie Andrews, Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, George M. Cohan, and Rex Harrison.
Musicals have explored almost every subject and classic tale imaginable, covering diverse topics such as cultural differences, war, young love, murder, royalty, poverty, racism, religion and other controversial issues. Broadway has also recognized and paid tribute to many diverse ethnicities and cultures, with shows such as West Side Story, Miss Saigon, The Lion King, Brigadoon and the classic of Porgy n Bess.
The music, politics and the media of 60’s and 70’s changed America – and Broadway shows. Rock music, dominating the radio waves, also infiltrated the stage. The musicals Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, and Bye Bye Birdie rocked the house. The first rock musical was HAIR- filled with hippies, afros and even full nudity.
Today, ASJ’s artistic director, David Kingery, has crafted this lively new production, The Evolution of Broadway, as a testament to the creativity of this genre. The production will also cover modern musicals including the styles of Andrew Lloyd Weber, Steven Sondheim and Steven Schwartz, paying tributes to shows like Cats, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked.
Broadway has survived and mirrored two world wars, various political upheavals, the Great Depression and now faces another economic downfall. However, we know that this American art form is strong and resilient – Broadway will persevere!!!