All tagged Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein’s career writing for the American Musical Theatre was an intermittent one, with other things on his plate as a classical composer, conductor and pianist holding equal weight among his interests. However, it was as a musical theatre composer that we best remember him. Bernstein had a knack for conveying the world of New York City through his theatre music, the hustle and bustle of the city and the adventure (and occasionally turmoil) to be found therein. Three of his musicals, On the Town (1944), Wonderful Town (1953), and West Side Story (1957) each capture a different aspect of New York City at a different time and place during the first-half of the twentieth century. Today, I am taking a look at Wonderful Town.
With all the anti-immigrant sentiment floating around our there, I thought that I would celebrate a Broadway song that is all about the reasons behind people coming to America. True, the song I'm referring to reveres "America" in contrast to Puerto Rico (which is, incidentally, in America), but the sentiment is the same. We are supposed to be a nation of promises and hope. Thinking about Puerto Rico today post-hurricane and distressed that the powers that be have forgotten that they are a part of our nation. My heart also aches about how we don't include he human race in our fold, but we are a world of haves and have-nots, and that attitude tends to prevail.
The Fourth of July is almost upon us and this weekend most of us will be celebrating with hot dogs, fireworks, and showtunes. Yes…you heard me, showtunes. Exploring musical theatre scores from over the last century, there are a handful of jubilant, patriotic tunes celebrating America, as well as a few unlikely songs that touch on the topic of what it means to be an American. Today’s blog is a celebration of those songs.