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American Musicals

The Complete Books and Lyrics of Eight Broadway Classics 1950 -1969 (LOA #254): Guys and Dolls / The Pajama Game / My Fair Lady / Gypsy / A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum / Fiddler on the Roof / Cabaret / 1776 (Library of America Classic Broadway Musicals Collection #2)

Laurence Maslon


List Price: 37.50*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (9/25/2014)


The Broadway musical is one of America’s great indigenous popular forms, a glorious hybrid that emerged “out of our speech, our tempo, our moral attitudes, our way of moving” (as Leonard Bernstein put it). Now in the second volume of a landmark two-volume collection, The Library of America presents eight enduring masterpieces charting the Broadway musical’s narrative tradition from the genre’s Golden Age to its response to the turbulent 1960s with the Tony Award–winning shows Cabaret and 1776. Based on new research, this historic collection presents the complete libretto of each musical in its Broadway opening night version, making these beloved stories available as never before. Several shows, including Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady, return to print for the first time in decades.
Each of these classic musicals has evolved over time, receiving many important revivals and new productions.  This Library of America boxed set offers readers unprecedented insight into this living history with a selection of hard-to-find or previously unpublished supplementary items, including lyrics of songs dropped out-of-town or added in later revivals. Lavishly illustrated­­ with 32 pages of photographs and other images drawn from the original productions, the set also contains biographical sketches of the book writers and lyricists; cast lists and other information about the shows’ Broadway openings; and detailed accounts of the path each show took on the road to Broadway.

AMERICAN MUSICALS 1950–1969 contains:


Guys and Dolls
Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser · Book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows
The Pajama Game
Book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell · Music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
My Fair Lady
Adaptation and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner · Music by Frederick Loewe
Book by Arthur Laurents · Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim  
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
Book by Larry Gelbart and Burt Shevelove · Lyrics and music by Stephen Sondheim
Fiddler on the Roof
Book by Joseph Stein · Music by Jerry Bock · Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Book by Joe Masteroff · Music by John Kander · Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards ·  Book by Peter Stone

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

Library of America, 9781598532593, 800pp.

Publication Date: September 25, 2014

About the Author

Laurence Maslon is an arts professor in the Graduate Acting Program at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. The author or editor of several books about musical theater, including The South Pacific Companion, he co-wrote two episodes of the Emmy-winning Broadway: The American Musical with Michael Kantor, as well as the companion volume. He also wrote the acclaimed American Masters/Thirteen documentary Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds. He lives in New York.