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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

Broadway au natural

Many musicals and plays that would later make their way to Hollywood graced the Broadway stage before appearing on the silver screen, including: Sound of Music, Camelot (1960), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1960); Bye Bye Birdie and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962); Oliver and Barefoot in the Park (1963); Funny Girl, Hello Dolly, and Fiddler on the Roof (1964); Mame, Sweet Charity, and Cabaret (1966).

Dramas such as The Sandbox (1960), The American Dream (1961), and A Delicate Balance (1967) by Edward Albee altered American theater. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962) also by Albee “helped bring before the public a worldview that saw life as lacking the sorts of large, eternal truths that made life meaningful and bearable, substituting instead a world in which individuals must seek out their own meaning” (Rielly, 2003, p. 207).  On the lighter side, Neil Simon showed different pairs of opposites in his comedies, Come Blow Your Horn (1961), Barefoot in the Park (1963), and The Odd Couple (1965).  Later in the decade, with Promises Promises (1968) and The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (1969), Simon's focus turned to the sexual revolution (Rielly, 2003).  Cashing in on the sexual revolution, Broadway also staged some very controversial shows: actors appeared nude on stage in Hair (1968), Dionysus 69 (1968), and Oh Calcutta (1969); while Boys in the Band (1968) concerned homosexuality (Rielly, 2003).


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