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Rebels with Applause

Broadway's Groundbreaking Musicals

By Scott Miller

    As he did in Deconstructing Harold Hill and From Assassins to West Side Story, Scott Miller, with this delightful entry, once again pulls back the curtain on some of the greatest, most important musicals in the history of musical theater. Miller focuses on shows that have truly changed the genre, moving in chronological order from 1937’s The Cradle Will Rock to 1996’s Rent, and including Off-Broadway hits not included in other books. In the process, he focuses on musicals as theater—real shows being put on with live performances—rather than literature—and demonstrates why musical theatre still remains a vital and vibrant living art form. Miller’s opinions are occasionally provocative, and wholly engaging, written from the perspective of a director and a performer.

    Anyone with an interest in musical theater will be fascinated with Miller’s latest work, and the serious aficionado will find new insights to ponder. Above all, this mesmerizing new book will have you thinking and talking about the selected shows like never before.


    —Stage and Screen Book Club
Scott
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    As he did in Deconstructing Harold Hill and From Assassins to West Side Story, Scott Miller, with this delightful entry, once again pulls back the curtain on some of the greatest, most important musicals in the history of musical theater. Miller focuses on shows that have truly changed the genre, moving in chronological order from 1937’s The Cradle Will Rock to 1996’s Rent, and including Off-Broadway hits not included in other books. In the process, he focuses on musicals as theater—real shows being put on with live performances—rather than literature—and demonstrates why musical theatre still remains a vital and vibrant living art form. Miller’s opinions are occasionally provocative, and wholly engaging, written from the perspective of a director and a performer.

    Anyone with an interest in musical theater will be fascinated with Miller’s latest work, and the serious aficionado will find new insights to ponder. Above all, this mesmerizing new book will have you thinking and talking about the selected shows like never before.


    —Stage and Screen Book Club
Scott Miller once again pulls back the curtain on some of the greatest, most important American musicals, taking you on a mind-blowing tour of the milestones in the history of musical theatre. These are musicals that broke all the old rules and created new ones, and changed the way we looked at musical theatre forever:
  • the savage political satire of The Cradle Will Rock in 1937
  • the surprisingly dark sexuality of Pal Joey in 1940
  • the profound innovations of Oklahoma! in 1943
  • the absurdist social satire of Anyone Can Whistle in 1964
  • the convention-shattering experiment that was Hair in 1967
  • the intimacy and emotional power of Jacques Brel in 1968
  • the provocative honesty of the gay-themed Ballad of Little Mikey in 1994
  • the abstract sophistication of the jazz/pop/R&B-flavored Songs for a New World in 1995
  • the emotional immensity of the "anti-spectacle" Floyd Collins in 1995
  • the overwhelming influence of the 1996 rock musical Rent.
Offering insightful, provocative opinions on character, plot, musical and textual themes, lyrics, subtext, motivation, backstory, and historical context, Miller reveals astonishing new details about what makes each one of these musicals great. He’ll get you thinking and talking about these shows like you never have before.