A Century of Musicals in Black and White: An Encyclopedia of Musical Stage Works By, About, or Involving African Americans

A Century of Musicals in Black and White: An Encyclopedia of Musical Stage Works By, About, or Involving African Americans

A Century of Musicals in Black and White: An Encyclopedia of Musical Stage Works By, About, or Involving African Americans

A Century of Musicals in Black and White: An Encyclopedia of Musical Stage Works By, About, or Involving African Americans

Synopsis

This comprehensive reference book provides succinct information on almost thirteen hundred musical stage works written and produced from the 1870s to the 1990s involving contributions by black librettists, lyricists, composers, musicians, producers, or performers or containing thematic materials relevant to the black experience. Organized alphabetically, they include tent and outdoor shows, vaudeville, operas and operettas, comedies, farces, spectacles, revues, cabaret and nightclub shows, children's musicals, skits, one-act musicals, one-person shows, and even a musical without songs. In addition to the hundreds of shows independently created, produced, and performed by black writers and theatrical artists, it presents hundreds more representing a collaboration of black and white talents. An appendix organizes the shows chronologically and highlights those that were most significant in the history of the black American musical stage. An extensive bibliography and indexes of names, songs, and subjects complete the work.

Excerpt

A Century of Musicals in Black and White is a comprehensive encyclopedia that provides information, as available, on more than twelve hundred musical stage works by, about, or involving black Americans. Included are shows with contributions by black librettists, lyricists, composers, musicians, producers, performers, and other theatre artists, and/or that contain materials of a thematic nature relevant to the black experience either in America or in other nations. Actually the time span exceeds a century as the coverage extends from 1873 to 1992.

This encyclopedia is the third volume of an ongoing series of books that the writer hopes someday to complete on black contributions to the American stage, films, and television. The first two volumes, already published by Greenwood Press, are Contemporary Black American Playwrights and Their Plays: A Biographical Directory and Dramatic Index (1988) and Early Black American Playwrights and Dramatic Writers: A Biographical Directory and Catalog of Plays, Films, and Broadcasting Scripts (1990).

Because of the numerous problems which cross-references from volume to volume would entail, the writer has decided to devote this and all future volumes to a single aspect of black participation in the theatre and entertainment media. Just as this volume is devoted exclusively to musical stage works, other discrete volumes will be devoted to such subjects as plays, films, television shows, performers and show people, organizations and performing groups, and other separate aspects of blacks in show business.

A Century of Musicals in Black and White has been so named because of the numerous stage works included which represent a collaboration of white and black artists, including composers, librettists, lyricists, musicians, producers, and performers. To cite only a few examples: Black songwriters contributed music and lyrics to dozens of early white-oriented musical shows, such as The Belle of Bridgeport (1900), Casino Girl (1900-1901), The Little Duchess (1901- 2 . . .

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