Though Broadway is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of musical comedy, this genre didn’t even start there. Instead, its origin is tied to Ancient Greek and Rome. The Greeks and Romans were well versed in the magic and power of representing life on a stage and engaging the public in tragedies and comedies.
People went to the shows to live through the characters, dialogues, words, music, and dances. And what you see in a spectacular Broadway scene or an online Ninja Sex Party album has been, over time, built over those great classical foundations.
What is Musical Comedy?
Musical comedy is a genre of entertainment combining stories and music to help convey feeling. There are a few recurring themes and standard plotlines throughout musical comedy, and overall it is meant to be positive, memorable, and have enthusiastic happy endings.
Characters sometimes represent an entire ethnic group or culture and exaggerate their virtues and vices. Ninja Sex Party, for example, is a modern musical comedy that stars a Jewish superhero with no powers and his ninja best friend having fun adventures. Culture and ethnicity are often common themes because musical comedy has historically involved a lot of satire and social commentary.
It is also distinguished by glamorous scenography and catchy music mixed with beautiful costumes and bold make-up. In addition, occasional special effects enhance the universe created through the storyline. Some of these elements are the most well-known in the French operetta genre.
The “Father” of Musical Comedy
Some experts consider French composer Hervé the father of operettas, and his influence on musical comedy was great. Various other composers produced popular operettas through the XIX half-century. Some made it to London and New York, even, and after the first American musical comedy in 1866, productions involving music and dance never left the world stage again.
Musical Comedy in the XX Century
At the beginning of the 20th century, musical comedy developed even further and helped to create a deep sense of American patriotism. Storylines began to involve the American public, American themes, and the reality and peculiarities of American life. Famous composers such as George Cohan, George Gershwin, and Irving Berlin made American Comedy blossom and bloom.
Musical comedy continued gaining popularity during the rest of the 20th century. Eventually, names such as Rogers, Hammerstein and Webber came to leave their mark, and even the Great Depression did not stop Broadway and other theatres.
21st Century Musical Comedy: A New Era
The 1990s produced a minor crisis in the theater world, but in the early 2000s, it came back with a vengeance. This was, in part, thanks to the internet. The internet completely revolutionized publicity. The larger number of people that can read about coming shows and purchase tickets online, the more people will come. You can now even watch some productions on streaming.
Another modern addition to the genre are albums such as Ninja Sex Party, which are mixes of theatrical entertainment and rock music. The rise of the internet has greatly influenced what sort of musical comedy entertainment is available today.
From Here On Out
Where is musical comedy headed? While no one can predict 100% accurately, one thing is sure: there will always be more things to make us laugh and more works with happy endings.