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The Road To Fame: The Great White Way

2509 words - 11 pages

Every day people get an idea for a new show. Every day people work on writing a new show. Every day a new show is denied access to that seemingly impossible goal, Broadway. But what about the ones who do make it? They are the ones who go down in history; the ones who get their names in lights. But the road to Broadway is long and strenuous.
I have been interested in theatre since before I can remember. I always wondered what it would be like to start a show from scratch and have it get to Broadway. I had heard it was difficult, but how hard could it really be? Once I started being in musicals, I began to understand. Even acting in a middle or high school show is incredibly ...view middle of the document...

They spent the night discussing their real experiences as professional dancers on Broadway-- the good and the bad. They talked about how being on Broadway is not
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equivalent to becoming a star in the spotlight. They talked about injuries and rejections. This unromanticized view of Broadway would go on to make the show seem much more real (Kirkwood viii). Soon after that night, Michael Bennett began using the tapes used to record the night with Nicholas Dante to create the show that would become A Chorus Line. They found more of their creative team, including composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Ed Kleban. Eventually they got someone to pay for a workshop of the show, which picked up James Kirkwood as a co-author of the book. After another workshop, they launched into incredibly succesful previews (Kirkwood ix). Workshops and run-throughs are a huge part of the process of getting a show to Broadway. Workshops are a great way to get attention from producers (Kenrick). Generally when a show has a workshop or a run-through, it is a less finished production using minimal costumes and set pieces to show potential producers and others in the business the potential of the show. A run-through or workshop can also be used to help give everyone connected with the show an idea of how it will play to an audience (Altman 2).
The book and score of a musical are called the libretto. A composer/lyricist writes the score and a writer writes the book. The score of a musical contains all of the songs or musical numbers, which serve the purpose of either deepening character, expanding on an emotionally significant moment, setting a mood, or pushing the plot along. The book of a musical includes all of the nonmusical scenes. These scenes are comic or dramatic and serve to provide exposition or push the plot along (de Giere 35). One thing that is very difficult to do when writing the book of a musical is, if the musical is based on a book, to change the story just enough, while keeping the general idea (Cote, Wicked: The Grimmerie 35). When writing, different writers have different processes. For example, Leonard Bernstein sometimes would
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write music without playing the notes on the piano first. Stephen Schwartz, however, always uses a piano to feel the story and emotion of the song. Some song writers even begin working by just writing- not using any music or rhythm (de Giere 29). When collaborating for music and lyrics, however, most teams have the composer write the music first, with a general idea of what the song will be, and then the lyricist fits lyrics to the music, although it can be done either way (Cote, Wicked: The Grimmerie 32). One reason writers get writer's block is because they are letting themselves turn on their editing instincts instead of just writing. If a writer can't think of any good ideas, he should just write. It is better to have work that you know is bad and can edit later than to have no work...

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