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minstrel shows, operettas, stage musical, Musical Comedy, theatrical production

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Musical or Musical Comedy, theatrical production in which songs, instrumental accompaniments, and often dance are integrated into a dramatic plot. The musical has been influenced by a variety of dramatic forms through the centuries, with the modern version emerging in the United States and Britain in the second half of the 20th century. Today, the stage musical is one of the most popular forms of live entertainment.

The Modern Musical

As if by grand design—out of an improbable mix of the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, low-down honky-tonks, minstrel shows, extravaganzas, operettas, the rambunctious clowning of burlesques, and the song and dance of vaudeville shows—there emerged in the early 20th century a new kind of theater: the musical comedy.


Wainscott, Ronald, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.

Professor of Theater and Drama, Indiana University. Author of "The Emergence of the Modern American Theater".

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minstrel shows, operettas, stage musical, Musical Comedy, theatrical production, songs, song, dance, United States, centuries, century, Today, Sullivan, Britain, half

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