Advertisements

Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

Eric Idle singing a lyric from his musical "Spamalot" on Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

Eric Idle singing a lyric from his musical “Spamalot” on Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

“Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy”, 90-minute documentary by Michael Kantor (Broadway: The American Musical.) aired on PBS New Year’s Day

George Gershwin tried to write for Yiddish theater, but was rejected as t

George Gershwin tried to write for Yiddish theater, but was rejected as too American

Though the major of Broadway composers throughout the twentieth century were Jewish, it wasn't until 1964 that any of them created a musical specifically about Jews, "Fiddler on the Roof." Even then, says lyricist Sheldon Harnick, "many people said 'oh you're so brave.'"

Though the major of Broadway composers throughout the twentieth century were Jewish, it wasn’t until 1964 that any of them created a musical specifically about Jews, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Even then, says lyricist Sheldon Harnick, “many people said ‘oh you’re so brave.'”

MelBrooksatTheTonys

Here’s the link

Watch Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy on PBS. See more from Great Performances.

Speaking of the Jews of Broadway: Here are Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters singing “Move On” from “Sunday in the Park With George” in Sondheim: The Birthday Concert, also from Great Performances

A partial list of Jewish songwriters who had at least one show on Broadway

  • Harold Arlen
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Lionel Bart
  • Alan and Marilyn Bergman
  • Irving Berlin
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • Don Black
  • Jerry Bock
  • Alain Boublil
  • Sammy Cahn
  • Eric Carmen
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Cy Coleman
  • Betty Comden
  • Hal David
  • Howard Dietz
  • Ervin Drake
  • Al Dubin
  • Isaak Dunaevsky
  • Fred Ebb
  • Ray Evans
  • Sammy Fain
  • Dorothy Fields
  • Charles Fox
  • George and Ira Gershwin
  • Norman Gimbel
  • Adolph Green
  • Johnny Green
  • Marvin Hamlisch
  • E. Y. Harburg
  • Sheldon Harnick
  • Lorenz Hart
  • Jerry Herman
  • James Horner
  • Billy Joel
  • John Kander
  • Jerome Kern
  • Carole King
  • Herbert Kretzmer
  • Burton Lane
  • Jerry Leiber
  • Mitch Leigh
  • Alan Jay Lerner
  • Jay Livingston
  • Frank Loesser
  • Johnny Mandel
  • Barry Mann
  • Melissa Manchester
  • Barry Manilow
  • Michael Masser
  • Alan Menken
  • Randy Newman
  • Richard Rodgers
  • Sigmund Romberg
  • Harold Rome
  • Carole Bayer Sager
  • Claude-Michel Schönberg 
  • Arthur Schwartz
  • Stephen Schwartz
  • Paul Simon
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Mike Stoller
  • Charles Strouse
  • Jule Styne
  • Cynthia Weil
  • Kurt Weill
  • Frank Wildhorn
  • Maury Yeston
  • Victor Young
Advertisements

About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

3 Responses to Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy

  1. E.B. Vest says:

    The term ‘Broadway’ exists all over the world. Would have been nicer if the article was titled: The American Musical: A Jewish Contribution to an Ongoing Legacy. I am, not an NYC journalist; I only live here. I was born in Texas, and have a Bachelor’s and Masters degree (both in theatre. The Master’s specifically focuses on Musical Theatre.) I make no argument that without the contribution from the Jewish Yiddish theatre; the American Musical would not have developed into what it is today. The American Musical is one of two genuinely unique artistic contributions to the world the U.S.A. can lay claim to…I beg you people to please try harder when you classify things. A contribution by Jewish writers was made; yes. However, it took the African American dancing community, and the cultural stories from all over the world to MAKE this art form WHAT it is.

    • The title of my blog post is exactly the same as the title of the documentary on PBS. And if you look at that documentary, it’s clear they mean the shows that appear in the Broadway theaters of New York. I think you’ll also see that the documentary is not claiming that Broadway musicals are exclusively a Jewish legacy. It’s simply exploring this one interesting aspect of musical theater.
      Now, one more point: If they were still alive, and you were to ask them, the great composers for Broadway who were Jewish, like George Gershwin and Harold Arlen et al, would give ample credit to African-American culture.

  2. Pingback: New York Theater 2013, First Week. Broadway and Off-Broadway Previews. Social Media On Stage. « New York Theater

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: