Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway

Michael Riedel. Avid Reader, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6663-1
Riedel, a theater critic and longtime Broadway columnist for the New York Post, follows his bestselling Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway, about Broadway in the 1970s and ’80s, with a masterful history of the key moments of the ’90s, “a decade of profound change” for the Great White Way. Riedel covers the decade’s biggest hits and flops: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1994 Sunset Boulevard, whose “abrupt collapse” signaled the end of the British invasion of plays including Webber’s production of Cats (1982) and Phantom of the Opera (1988). What followed was Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (which premiered on Broadway in 1993 and had resounding success throughout the decade), and the groundbreaking Rent, which first took the stage in 1996 in the East Village’s New York Theatre Workshop. Riedel details how, thanks to the phenomenal success of culturally inclusive and innovative shows such as The Lion King, the decade’s productions had “put Broadway at the center of American popular culture in a way it had not been since the 1950s.” Riedel concludes with a strong argument that the successes of the 1990s paved the way for the current moment of “cultural phenomenon” musicals, and that Broadway “is in the midst of its new Golden Age.” Broadway aficionados and pop culture geeks will be entertained by this fascinating survey. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 07/01/2020
Release date: 11/10/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-1747-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-1745-4
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