Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War (Broadway Legacies)

Oja, Carol J.

Published by Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0199862095 / ISBN 13: 9780199862092
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Synopsis: When Leonard Bernstein first arrived in New York, he was an unknown artist getting to know other twenty-somethings like Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. Yet by the end of the 1940s, these aspiring artists were world famous. Their collaborations defied artistic boundaries, subtly pushed a progressive political agenda, and forever altered the landscape of musical theater, ballet, and nightclub comedy.

In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author and scholar Carol J. Oja examines the early days of Bernstein's career at the height of World War II. As a composer and conductor, Bernstein had a meteoric rise to fame, thanks in no small part to his visionary collaborations. While Rodgers and Hammerstein imagined an idealized countryside, Bernstein focused on urban contemporary life and popular culture. His shows featured the iterant sailors who bore the brunt of military service, causing them quickly to stand out. Rather than accepting traditional distinctions between high and low art, his music was wide-open, inspired by everything from opera to jazz. To the dismay of some critics--and the delight of others--Bernstein freely coupled a reference to Rossini or Tchaikovsky with a hit song. Bernstein was not only provocative artistically but politically as well. In a time of race riots and Japanese internment camps, he and his colleagues promoted racial equality by featuring African-American and Asian-American performers.

Oja combines a thorough exploration of Bernstein's collaborative work with rich descriptions of the time period that influenced him at the beginning of his career. Bernstein Meets Broadway is an indispensable work for any fan of Broadway musicals, dance, and cultural history.

Product Description: When Leonard Bernstein first arrived in New York City, he was an unknown artist working with other brilliant twentysomethings, notably Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. By the end of the 1940s, these artists were world famous. Their collaborations defied artistic boundaries and subtly pushed a progressive political agenda, altering the landscape of musical theater, ballet, and nightclub comedy. In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author and scholar Carol J. Oja examines the early days of Bernstein's career during World War II, centering around the debut in 1944 of the Broadway musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free. As a composer and conductor, Bernstein experienced a meteoric rise to fame, thanks in no small part to his visionary colleagues. Together, they focused on urban contemporary life and popular culture, featuring as heroes the itinerant sailors who bore the brunt of military service. They were provocative both artistically and politically. In a time of race riots and Japanese internment camps, Bernstein and his collaborators featured African American performers and a Japanese American ballerina, staging a model of racial integration. Rather than accepting traditional distinctions between high and low art, Bernstein's music was wide-open, inspired by everything from opera and jazz to cartoons. Oja shapes a wide-ranging cultural history that captures a tumultuous moment in time. Bernstein Meets Broadway is an indispensable work for fans of Broadway musicals, dance, and American performance history.

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Title: Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art ...
Publisher: Oxford University Press

Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2014. Book Condition: Used. This Book is in Good Condition. Clean Copy With Light Amount of Wear. 100% Guaranteed. Summary: With an innovative historical framework, Carol J. Oja explores the emergence during World War II of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_usedgood_0199862095

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2014. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 157 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A super-star of 20th-century music, Leonard Bernstein is famous for his multi-faceted artistic brilliance. Best-known on Broadway for West Side Story, a tale of immigrant struggles and urban gang warfare, Bernstein thrived within the theater s collaborative artistic environments, and he forged a life-long commitment to advancing social justice. In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author Carol J. Oja explores a youthful Bernstein-a twenty-something composer who was emerging in New York City during World War II. Devising an innovative framework, Oja constructs a wide-ranging cultural history that illuminates how Bernstein and his friends violated artistic and political boundaries to produce imaginative artistic results. At the core of her story are the Broadway musical On the Town, the ballet Fancy Free, and a nightclub act called The Revuers. A brilliant group of collaborators joins Bernstein at center-stage, including the choreographer Jerome Robbins and the writing team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. With the zeal of youth, they infused their art with progressive political ideals. On the Town focused on sailors enjoying a day of shore leave, and it featured a mixed-race cast, contributing an important chapter to the desegregation of American performance. It projected an equitable inter-racial vision in an era when racial segregation was being enforced contentiously in the U.S. military. The show starred the dancer Sono Osato, even as her father was interned together with so many Japanese Americans. Fancy Free amiably encoded its own dissenting narratives. Based on a controversial painting by Paul Cadmus, it grew out of a complex web of gay relationships. Rather than chronicling art within like-minded categories, Oja instead explores cross-fertilizations across art forms and high-low divides. She draws on intensive archival research, FBI files, interviews with surviving cast members, and previously untapped criticism in African American newspapers and entertainment-trade journals to shape a compelling story of artistic crossover and wartime exigencies. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780199862092

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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2014. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: With an innovative historical framework, Carol J. Oja explores the emergence during World War II of Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0199862095

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