Summary: This anthology collects for the first time the work of these artists. In the tradition of such classic musicals as West Side Story and Sweeney Todd, a new generation to composers, lyricists and librettists have extended and transformed the serious musical. Their work bears the influence of composers and authors, such as Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim and Harold Prince, and even Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. Yet these artists have fashioned a ...show morenew, highly personal and challenging form of lyric theater that darkly cuts to the heart of postmodern America.
Includes: Floyd Collins, set mostly in the pitch blackness of a cave in rural Kentucky in 1925, this piece, based on real events, presents a soul alone with himself while, above ground, the circus of modern media life unconsciously tries to rob Floyd of his human dignity; Reni, set amidst a gentrification war in New York City's Lower East Side in the mid-1990s, portrays a community of youthful racial diversity and sexual openness brought together, first by the struggle to be an artist in a materialist society and then by the fight to prevent disease from snuffing out their youthful lives and love; Parade juxtaposes anti-Semitism and racism against African-Americans in an Atlanta, Georgia, still haunted in 1913 by the ghosts of the Civil War; and The Wild Party, set near Manhattan's Morningside Heights just before the Crash of 1929, observes sensual and spiritual decadence through show business people desperate to love and be loved. ...show less