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Download Let's Put on a Musical!: "How to Choose the Right Show for Your School, Community, or Professional Theate r" epub

by Peter Filichia

Doing a show is great fun—but how do you know which one to do? This practical resource will guide your school, community, or professional theater group to a musical that perfectly fits your budget, creative team, production capabilities, and audience.With Let’s Put on a Musical! you’ll discover more than 200 famous and little-known shows—all cleverly categorized and described in terms of:• Story• Best-known songs• Musical requirements, including instrumentation• Chorus and dance numbers• Staging—the sets, costumes, and props you’ll needAnd it’s packed with nuggets about the original Broadway versions and useful tips on casting, publicity, and other practical matters relating to production. Whether it's a big classic like My Fair Lady or an all-but-forgotten show like Top Banana, if there's a musical in your future—or if you’re just a fan of the genre—Let’s Put on a Musical! will be an essential and fun-to-read addition to your theater library.
Download Let's Put on a Musical!: "How to Choose the Right Show for Your School, Community, or Professional Theate r" epub
ISBN: 0823088170
ISBN13: 978-0823088171
Category: Photography
Subcategory: Performing Arts
Author: Peter Filichia
Language: English
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications; 1st Edition - 1st Printing edition (May 1, 2004)
Pages: 384 pages
ePUB size: 1694 kb
FB2 size: 1796 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 507
Other Formats: txt mbr lrf doc

This useful book sets out to do for musicals what Theodore Shank's "500 Plays" does for the theater: provide plot synposes, production notes, and useful background for a wide variety of shows. It's aimed at theatre groups, but it's equally enjoyable as a reference guide to musicals for the general reader -- perhaps the best one of its type in existence.
For each show, the entry contains: the creators; background on its original run, including awards won; a plot outline; assets and liabilities; roles; dances; sets, costumes and props; instrumentation; marketing suggestions; production suggestions; resources (for example, videos of the show); and details of the rights.
The book was clearly a labour of love, and it shows sometimes in the inconsistent treatments of different shows. Some shows get a one-sentence plot summary, for others it runs to several paragraphs. However, by and large it's an excellent resource, with its crisp, no-nonsense assessments of assets and liabilities. It packs a lot of information into a very small space.
Arrived in a timely manner, however this is the exact same book as the prior edition. We went through it page by page for comparison.

I was expecting new shows, updated synopsis', but found none of it, only a different cover. I, for one am very disappointed.
Helpful guidance for the high school or community theater director.
Great resource for directors!
I got a job teaching high school drama despite having zero experience doing it. Worse, the only musicals I knew and had seen were "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera." So, when the band and choir directors starting throwing ideas for shows at me I was at a total loss. How would I know, without reading, listening to, and/or seeing every show they mentioned if it was a good idea or not?
Then, I found this book. Now, when the choir director tells me she wants to do "Lil Abner" I can reply that it seems dated. Or, if she wants to do "Flower Drum Song," I can tell her that we don't have enough Asians in our pool of talent. I can counter to her that "Into The Woods" is recommended for high schoolers, despite her objections to the contrary. I can recommend that we perform "Little Shop of Horrors" because it is a periennial money-maker and kids love it!
The book is divided into sections like "Shows for a big budget" or "Musicals that rely heavily on costumes". There's "Musicals that feature choreography" and "Musicals with Little Choreography." It's helpful to find the shows grouped together like this.
Then, it breaks down the show, giving a synopsis, assests, liabilities (often the most important information!!!), cast needed, etc. If you're passingly familiar with a show, this is all you would need. If you don't know the show at all, this is enough to warrant further investigation or to rule it out entirely.
I love this book. I would be lost without it. The only bad thing about it is that it doesn't have every single last musical ever created in it! But, it must contain more than two or three hundred shows listed, so that should be enough to get you by. I highly recommend this book.
This book is ideal for the community theater artistic director or school teacher who is looking for a musical to put on.

The title implies to me that here you will find instructions on how to stage the performance. Instead it's about selecting the play you might want to put on.

And it's description of some plays you might want to consider is very good. It gives you the story of what's happening, but far more information of a specialized nature that you need to know. For instance, how many performers, what kind of sets, costumes, props, special effects, etc. A very important detail given about the plays is where to go get rights. This can save you a lot of time.

I have only three complaints about the book. First it needs updating, there are a lot of new plays you might consider. Second, it needs a section on smaller plays. My stage needs plays with 6-8 people, few of the ones listed here are that small. Third, the book needs to be about three times as long, I'd like to see all the plays that are available in a format done like this.
Although there are glaring faux pas in this book..wrong vocal range, rather irrelevant political comments by the the author,and and to me the biggest mistake, giving away the ending of one musical, this book is a must for any musical director on any level. I have been involved in musical theatre in various forms and organizational levels for many years and really enjoyed looking into what the author had to say about some of my favorites. Having just witnessed a LONG awaited production of 1776 by my local community theatre group, I found the book right on the money in the case of a musical that has "too many men". Since the director has on occasion corresponded with Mr Filichia,I would imagine that he might have used the book as well. Would be nice if there were some kind of performer cross index. And the musical that he gave away the ending of is "Shenandoah"(talk about an overabundance of men!) So dont read the last paragraph of the description.....
Filichia is certainly a maestro when it comes to knowledge of the musical theatre. His book is both a fun, educational read for anyone with a zest for Broadway and Beyond, but it also serves its true purpose: It can help you choose a musical better than any "how to" guide on the market. Although it is missing a few licensers (WHere's Guilbert and Sullivan) and it hasn't quite caught up to ALL the revivals, it's still an excellent guide to helping your community, school, pr professional theatre find the best possible show.