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Subject: Re: Babes in Toyland
From: Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Rich Lowenthal <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 28 Apr 2017 11:41:29 -0400
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I'm not sure who considers Babes in Toyland the first American musical theater piece--or why; it was not even Victor Herbert's first operetta (Prince Ananias was his first, with The Wizard of the Nile his first real success). A year before, the producers of Babes in Toyland had a hit with their production of The Wizard of Oz, while George M. Cohan was getting started at the same time. Harrigan and Hart had had a series of NY musical productions through the late nineteenth century while A Trip to Chinatown (Percy Gaunt and Charles Hoyt) had an incredibly long run (for the time) beginning in 1891. The period was a fertile time in the development of musical theater. 

The work that is most generally considered the first American musical (although there are noted dissenters to that opinion) was "The Black Crook," first appearing on Broadway in 1866, with many subsequent tours and revivals. Not all its music was original, but it integrated song, story and dance more than had been done before, even if we would consider it rudimentary today.  



-----Original Message-----
From: Discussion of opera and related issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of R PRADA
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 11:11 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Babes in Toyland

Babes in Toyland by Victor Herbert is considered the first American musical theater piece. It was performed last night at Carnegie Hall in a semi staged version which was nicely done and well received.
There was some dancing by individual characters and some costumes. It’s a long piece. The orchestration was first rate, and well worth hearing. 
the book was rewritten to replace jokes that no longer have currency now, and a Trump verse was inserted into one song; The Widow says if she married him she would soon be a widow. Well appreciated by the audience as you can imagine.
But the star of this show is beautiful music and lots of it.
Maestro Jack Lee was very fond of the score, and wanted to put on scenes from it. 
Anybody know if there is a video of it? The staging of he whole show had to be scrumptious.
It was well worth seeing. 
RP
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