Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms such as opera, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements of the works. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, “musicals“.
Musicals are performed all around the world. They may be presented in large venues, such as big budget West End and Broadway theatre productions in London and New York City, or in smaller fringe theatre, Off-Broadway or regional theatre productions, on tour, or by amateur groups in schools, theatres and other performance spaces. In addition to Britain and North America, there are vibrant musical theatre scenes in many countries in Europe, Latin America, Australasia and Asia. Read the rest of this entry