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Attention must be paid, cried the balladeer: The concept musical defined

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The concept musical, a fourth category of American musical theatre (following comedy, revue and the integrated musical), has been accepted as a legitimate category but never fully defined. This study examines the attributes of structure, theme, character and song that distinguish the concept musical category from the musical comedy, revue and integrated musical, and provides a concise definition. The analysis of representative concept musicals demonstrates the validity of the definition when applied to two shows, Company and A Chorus Line, and other concept musicals (beyond the 1970s) are identified.

Keywords: A Chorus Line; Assassins; Avenue Q; Cats; Company; concept musical; musical theatre

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Pacific University.

Publication date: 2010-12-01

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  • Studies in Musical Theatre is a refereed journal which considers areas of live performance that use vocal and instrumental music in conjunction with theatrical performance as a principal part of their expressive language.
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