Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Musicals as a Mirror

PBS is running their 6-hour mini-series on the Broadway Musical this week. while reading about it I was struck by the fact that the mini-series producer spoke about musicals as a mirror of their times. I seemed to recall a similar sentiment expressed by 42nd St. Moon Managing Director, Lauren Hewitt.

Sure enough when I was flipping through my notes, I found a story she had told about first considering to work at 42nd St. Moon.

Although Lauren definitely had planned to run a theatre, having gotten an graduate degree in arts administration, she wasn't hot on the idea of running a musical theatre at first. She thought of it as a "commercial thing, not an artistic thing."

Now Lauren knows she was "under-educated." She started going to some 42nd St. Moon productions and started to:

"see the connection between these lost musicals seen through a modern lens and new works. They had historical impact; and said a lot about how we expressed ourselves about problems and conflicts."

Sounds a lot like what PBS is trying to highlight with their mini-series, no?

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