Recently, I saw a documentary on MTV about American Idiot, the brand new Broadway show based on the smash hit Green Day album of the same title. Technically, I can’t call myself a true Green Day fan (I’m not so familiar with their music, really) but I loved their American Idiot album so I’m pretty excited about the show (I’ll add “Seeing American Idiot on Broadway” to my 30th birthday wishlist).
Anyway, this whole thing really started me thinking about Broadway and, specifically, musical theatre. There’s something so invigorating, so infectious and so glorious about seeing a musical. Nothing beats live theatre for a great time and some top notch entertainment. Luckily, though, if you can’t hop a flight to NYC for a night on the Great White Way, you can get your theater kicks vicariously through DCPL. Here are some of my favorite materials:
Broadway: The American Musical—This is an amazing PBS documentary series tracing the modern American musical from its vaudevillian roots to its current, big-business incarnation. The venerable Julie Andrews is the host of this program which features clips of some of the amazing Broadway performers of past and present. This was so informative I took notes.
Show Business: The Road To Broadway—Here is a fascinating documentary of the 2003-2004 Broadway season, focusing on four of the biggest shows of that season: the blockbuster hit Wicked, the critically-acclaimed Caroline, or Change, the irreverent sleeper hit Avenue Q and the commercial flop Taboo. I was spellbound from start to finish as this film chronicled the inner workings of Broadway business.
Broadway’s Lost Treasures—If you’re simply looking to revisit the best of Broadway from seasons past, this might be a great series to check out. Broadway’s Lost Treasures is a compilation of showstopping performances from past Tony Awards shows. You may also want to take a look at volumes 2 and 3 of this series for more treasures.
Now, I know this post has been leaning more toward the musical theatre side of Broadway but DCPL has a wealth of great resources on dramatic (and non-musical) productions. I can’t say that I’ve read them yet but I’m pretty sure they’re fabulous (would they be in the Library if they weren’t?).