Next Episode of Sound of Musicals with Neil Brand is
Musical theatre is a global phenomenon, drawing millions of fans every year to sell-out shows in the West End, on Broadway, and in cities across the world. And for writer and composer Neil Brand, the best musicals can stand shoulder to shoulder with any other art form.In a new three-part series, Neil explores how the musical evolved over the last 100 years. He'll hear the inside story from leading composers and talent, past and present; and throughout the series, Neil will collaborate with top performers to recreate classic songs, looking in detail at how they work musically and lyrically to captivate the audience.These much-loved numbers include Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin' from Oklahoma!, Send In The Clowns from A Little Night Music, Don't Cry For Me Argentina from Evita, and Empty Chairs At Empty Tables from Les Misérables.
In episode one Neil finds out how the modern shape of the musical was established through a series of pioneering works, from Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's Show Boat in the 1920s, with its bold look at America's racial divide; and innovative use of songs that further the narrative, with Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's My Fair Lady, which made a star of Julie Andrews in the late 1950s.
In the second episode, Neil explores how a new generation of composers transformed musical theatre by embracing more gritty, challenging subjects, from the mean streets of 1950s New York in West Side Story, to the Dickensian London of British blockbuster Oliver!. Neil learns the stories behind Broadway hits Fiddler on the Roof and A Chorus Line, and celebrates the groundbreaking work of Stephen Sondheim. He also takes us step by step through the secrets of some classic numbers with the help of star performers Robert Lindsay and Frances Ruffelle.
In episode three Neil looks at the rise of the all-conquering contemporary blockbuster, from Evita to Les Misérables and The Lion King. And he sees how these mega-musicals have met with unexpected competition from quirky hits like The Rocky Horror Show and Avenue Q.
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