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January 7, 2013 • Gear Bits, News

Great Performances Looks at the Jewish Heritage of Musicals on Broadway

Spamalot My wife got me tickets to see Spamalot last year, and I remember Sir Robin singing “In any great adventure, if you don’t want to lose…you won’t succeed on Broadway if you don’t have any Jews.” While I found the song a bit ponderous and over-long, it was pointed and dead on. At first it might seem like an anti-Semitic comment, but there is a huge difference between someone decrying ‘Jewish control’ or ‘Black dominance’ as some threat to Christian whites (see election 2012, Fox News, etc) … and recognizing the cultural contributions of ethnic, racial or religious groups. This is an amazing Great Performances feature that looks at the Jewish contribution to musical theater:

The film is the first of its kind to examine the phenomenon that, over the 50-year period of its development, the songs of the Broadway musical were created almost exclusively by Jewish Americans.

Head here to see a quick preview of the special, or to watch the entire episode either check out your local PBS station guide – or simply head here and watch the whole thing! Oh … and if you have any interest in Broadway, musical theater, or culture in general … it is really time well spent!

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