YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel
Broadway Musicals A Jewish Legacy
“Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.” Highly recommended.
Watching the documentary, “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy,” which explores the powerful influence of Jewish musical traditions on Broadway, reminded me of Aaron Rosen, the jazz musician, a character in my Jewish historical novel, The Nine Inheritors:
“In the evening, he spent hours listening to Chassidic and Klezmer melodies, Yiddish songs and Cantorial music. Chana sang Yiddish folksongs to accompany him. These wonderful evenings listening to his mother and father remained with Aaron long after he had left home . . . [and influenced the fine Jazz musician he was to become].”
The Nine inheritors: The Extraordinary Odyssey of a Family and Their Sacred Torah Scroll. Chapter 14
The film is a fascinating and information 90-minute documentary, which explores the significant contribution of Jewish composers to the flowering of Broadway—and how these Broadway greats wove their Jewish sensibility in their music. What makes this documentary so compelling, is the exploration of the way in which the composers incorporated Jewish songs into what became America’s greatest hits. Just a list of the best-known composers from Broadway’s past and present attests to that fact: Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II (raised Protestant, but the grandson of a Jewish theater owner), George and Ira Gershwin, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Bock, Jules Styne, Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim. These stars all helped to develop a unique American art form that everybody can enjoy!
PBS looks at Jewish legacy on Broadway
Jews amid the culture of the Broadway musical
From the Shtetl to the Great White Way