The Broadway musical has greatly influenced American (and world) culture. Shows such as Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun are as "American as apple pie," while the long runs of imports such as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables have broken records. Broadway has produced cultural icons such as Ethel Merman, Yul Brynner, and Julie Andrews, and composers and lyricists such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and many others have had their melodies sung on its stages. Visionaries like George Abbott, Agnes de Mille, Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Tommy Tune, and Susan Stroman have brought productions to life through their innovative direction and choreography. Since the latter part of the 19th century, the Broadway musical has remained one of the most popular genres in entertainment and its history is related in detail in the Historical Dictionary of the Broadway Musical.
Through a chronology, an introductory essay, a bibliography, and 900 dictionary entries on Broadway shows, playwrights, directors, producers, designers, and actors, this handy desk reference offers quick information on the many aspects of the Broadway musical.