Academic Background B. My area of expertise is film music and the thrust of my research involves how film music operates in variety of different types of genres and national cinemas as well as in the work of individual filmmakers. My first book, Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film situates the film score of the classical studio period in Hollywood in terms of historical, theoretical, and musical contexts. That research led me to How the West Was Sung: Music in the Westerns of John Ford , which examined how the director John Ford, in his studio westerns, exploited music, especially song, in defining the geographical and ideological space of the American West.
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Sitting in the middle of an era dominated by such seminal figures as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Frank Loesser, and Leonard Bernstein, My Fair Lady not only enjoyed critical success similar to that of its rivals but also had by far the longest run of a Broadway musical up to that time. From to , its original production played without a break for 2, performances, and the show went on to be adapted into one of the most successful movie musicals of all time in , when it won eight Academy Awards.
Internationally, the show also broke records in London, and the original production toured to Russia at the height of the Cold War in an attempt to build goodwill. It remains a staple of the musical theater canon today, an oft-staged show in national, regional, and high school theaters across the country. Using previously-unpublished documents, author Dominic McHugh presents a completely new, behind-the-scenes look at the five-year creation of the show, revealing the tensions and complex relationships that went into its making.
This book is the first to shed light on the many behind-the-scenes creative discussions that took place from casting decisions all the way through the final months of frantic preparation leading to the premiere in March McHugh also traces sketches for the show, looking particularly at the lines cut during the rehearsal and tryout periods, to demonstrate how Lerner evolved the relationship between Higgins and Eliza in such a way as to maintain the delicate balance of ambiguity that characterizes their association in the published script.
He looks too at the movie version, and how the cast album and subsequent revivals have influenced the way in which the show has been received. Overall, this book explores why My Fair Lady continues to resonate with audiences worldwide more than fifty years after its premiere.
New Books Added.
Settling the Score: Music and the Classical Hollywood Film