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Showtime brings the history of Broadway musicals of the last 150 years to life in a narrative as engaging as the subject itself. Combining original research with insightful analysis, Larry Stempel examines musicals in their cultural context. Beginning with the scandalous Astor Place Opera House riot of 1849, Showtime traces the growth of musicals from minstrel shows and operettas, through the golden age of Show Boat and Oklahoma!, to such groundbreaking works as Company and Rent. Stempel does not miss a beat: he covers the great creators, stagers and performers whose creativity and innovation have sparked and sustained the appreciation for musical theatre and he lets them speak for themselves. Gracefully narrated and fully documented with the inclusion of seldom-seen photographs, Showtime is the most comprehensive, authoritative history of the Broadway musical available.