For Ethan Mordden, the closing night of the hit musical, 42nd St. sounded the death knell of the art form of the Broadway musical. After that, big orchestras, real voices, recognizable books and intelligent lyrics went out the window in favor of cats, helicopters, yodeling Frenchmen, and the roof of the Paris Opera. Mordden takes us through the aftermath of the days of the great Broadway musical. From the long-running Cats to Miss Saigon, Phantom, and Les Miserables, to gems like The Producers, he is unsparing in his look at the remains of the day. Not content to scold the shows' creators, Mordden takes on the critics, too, splaying their bodies across the Great White Way like Sweeney Todd giving a close shave. Once more, it's "curtain going up," but Mordden is not applauding.
Read alsoLove Song
Noted historian of the Broadway musical chronicles the braided lives of two of the twentieth century's most influential artistsFor the first time, Ethan Mordden chronicles the romance of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya in Love Song, a dual biography that unfolds against the background of the tumultuous twentieth century, scored to music from…