Friday, July 30, 2021

Musical Comedies

No. 363 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series of audio montages can be found in our archives at


This week’s montage is dedicated to musical comedies – in this context, comedy should be taken in the Latin or Greek sense of a play, not necessarily as something humorous. I think I much prefer the appellation musical theatre.

Musical theatre is the combination of music (singing), acting and dancing and performers in this genre are commonly referred to as ‘triple threats’. It is also one of the easiest forms of theatre to introduce people to as an audience member, as there as so many possible points of engagement.

Looking at it from the music angle, musical theatre can be thought of in the vein of operetta – as light affairs – Gilbert and Sullivan rather than Wagner. One could argue, however, that some musicals have all the panache and structure e of opera – think of Show Boat or West Side Story, with complicated subjects and sometimes using the trappings of opera –duets transforming into trios and quartets…

The tracks that form this week’s montage are instrumental – some overtures, memorable numbers and medleys from musicals of the Broadway (and London) stage and yje Silver Screen. The possible exception here are the Symphonic Dances from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story which sews together dance numbers from the musical into a coherent concert piece – which is something he did for some of the other musicals and film scores he collaborated on.

I think you will love this music too.



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