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Broadway and Popular Music

The Rise and Fall of the Tin Pan Alley Model

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The Language of Film 1

The Great “Family-Friendly” Way:
The Disney-fication of Broadway

Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 10am
John and Jeanne Rowe Performance and Learning Center
Greg Brown, lecturer

Paralleling a civic push to "clean up" the New York City Theater District, trace how Disney and other Hollywood producers had an active role in transforming the downtrodden neighborhood into the sparkling envy of the global theatrical world, restoring Broadway's once-heralded position at the center of the cultural conversation. This lecture examines how the influence of Hollywood forever metamorphosed Broadway from the chatter of the New York intelligentsia to a global commercial brand centered around family-friendly entertainment.

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The Language of Film 2

Broadway Goes “Pop!”:
Conversations with the Cultural Mainstream from
Jesus Christ Superstar to Mean Girls

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 10am
John and Jeanne Rowe Performance and Learning Center
Greg Brown, lecturer

Broadway has always held a uniquely friendly — even symbiotic — relationship with the cultural mainstream. Trace the last 50 years of musical theater history, beginning with Jesus Christ Superstar, to examine the various ways in which Broadway has either defined the cultural conversation, as with the globalized works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, or borrowed from it, as with the movie adaptations of productions such as Mean Girls. Discover how this interplay of invention and adaptation can be seen as a microcosm for American culture itself.

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