How Music Makes the Musical - Women's Institute of Houston

May 2017 

The Women's Insitute of Houston

The musical is a true American art form. On any Broadway stage, serious drama meets popular song and both are better for the collaboration. What propels a musical to capture the imaginations of the country when the stories stretch from the French (or American) revolution to a nascent view of inner city violence? Well, the music, of course! Music is a powerful force illuminating the inner struggles of characters on stage and allowing the audience to engage with the story on a deeper level. In this course, we will examine some of the top musicals in the last 100 years and investigate exactly how the music makes the audience care.

"My Fair Lady"—The Inner Workings of a Man’s Mind, Writ Large

"West Side Story"—Shakespeare’s Tragedy and Gang Violence

 "Chorus Line"—Bit Players Take Center Stage

"Hamilton"—Hip Hop as (American) Revolution