“ALL THESE PLACES HAD THEIR MOMENTS”
Who over the age of ten doesn’t recognize the iconic Beatles? Something in the way they move attracts me like no other…..
There are places I remember… When Beatlemania overtook the nation, I was an impressionable 9-year-old girl growing up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The visually emotional moment of those rebellious long-haired Brits, plucking at my heart stings with their every word, would prove to shape my teenage and adult years influencing everything from dress to hair style to instilling a love for musical classics and European Culture. I believe in yesterday.
noun extreme enthusiasm for the Beatles, as manifested in the frenzied behavior of their fans in the 1960s. the band took to spending weeks on end in the studio as a way of escaping from the mayhem of Beatlemania. the sound reminded him of old news clips he’d seen of Beatlemania— girls screaming their heads off for the moptops from Liverpool.
As Mike Huckabee remembers:
“This past Sunday marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, and all this month, the media will be filled with Beatles tributes. Some young people don’t get Beatlemania. Having grown up on modern pop and rap, they don’t understand the concept of music being that important. Or frankly, that good. But I remember being an 8-year-old kid in a little town in South Arkansas that no one had ever heard of. I watched the Beatles with my family on our black and white TV that got its signal off our housetop antenna, all the way from Shreveport, Louisiana. And that night, when I saw those four guys from Liverpool, I thought, “I need to get a guitar, and I’ll become the fifth Beatle.” Now, it would take three years of begging my parents for an electric guitar before I’d ever get one. And it was a sacrifice for my parents. They ordered one from the JC Penney catalog, paid a little bit each month for a year, until they finally covered the $99 that the little guitar cost. I’ve talked before about how it helped a shy kid come out of his shell and led me into a career in politics and the media. That guitar changed my life. And the Beatles changed the world.
They came just at the right time. Our nation was in a deep funk after the murder of our young and visionary President. Race riots were turning major cities into battlegrounds, as horrible things were happening to civil rights leaders who rightfully demanded that all Americans be given justice and freedom. Then there was a war in Southeast Asia looming on the horizon. America needed hope and a diversion. And the energy and freshness of those four young men from Liverpool ignited something that could not be quenched. As our parents screamed, “Turn that noise down,” we turned it up.
Who would’ve thought that 50 years later, we’d be telling our grandchildren, “Turn that music UP! It’s the Beatles!”
Although music has been a part of dramatic presentations since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre emerged during the 19th century, with many structural elements established by the works of Gilbert and Sullivan in Britain and those of Harrigan and Hart in America. These were followed by the numerous Edwardian musical comedies and the musical theatre works of American creators like George M. Cohan. The Princess Theatre musicals and other smart shows like Of Thee I Sing (1931) were artistic steps forward beyond revues and other frothy entertainments of the early 20th century and led to such groundbreaking works as Show Boat (1927) and Oklahoma!(1943). Some of the most famous and iconic musicals through the decades that followed includeWest Side Story (1957), The Fantasticks (1960), Hair (1967), A Chorus Line (1975), Les Misérables (1985),The Phantom of the Opera (1986), Rent (1996), The Producers (2001) and Wicked (2003).
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, 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.