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English Language Arts and Reading
Grade 3: Grade 4: Grade 5: Grade 6: Grade 7: Grade 8: Grade 9: Grade 10: Grade 11: Grade 12: 110.14 (7, 17, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31) 110.15 (15, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29) 110.16 (5, 15, 17, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29) 110.18 (5, 14, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28) 110.19 (14, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28) 110.20 (14, 16, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28) 110.31 (13, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26) 110.32 (13, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26) 110.33 (13, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26) 110.34 (13, 15, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26)

Social Studies Music

Grade 5: 113.16 (5, 24, 25) United States History: 113.41 (7, 25, 29, 30, 32) Grade 3: Grade 4: Grade 5: Grade 6: Grade 7: Grade 8: Level I: Level II: Level III: Level IV: 117.12 (2, 6) 117.15 (2, 6) 117.18 (6) 117.33 (6) 117.36 (6) 117.39 (6) 117.60 (6) 117.61 (6) 117.62 (6) 117.63 (6) 117.13 (3, 5) 117.16 (1, 2, 5) 117.19 (1, 2, 5) 117.34 (1, 2, 5) 117.37 (1, 4, 5) 117.40 (1, 4, 5) 117.64 (5) 117.65 (5) 117.66 (5) 117.67 (5)
Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008


Grade 3: Grade 4: Grade 5: Grade 6: Grade 7: Grade 8: Level I: Level II: Level III: Level IV:

Please visit http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/ for more information.


Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, two war veterans and prominent songand-dance men, follow a sister act to Vermont, only to discover that the nearly-bankrupt inn they were to perform at is owned by their former commanding general. Romantic mishaps and comedic misunderstanding ensue as the duo plans to save the Generals inn by putting on their show. For a more detailed synopsis, see pages 6 and 7 of this study guide.

A Brief Summary

White Christmas is considered a family show and suitable for all ages. TUTS gives the show a movie rating of G. Adult Language The word damn is said once. Violence None. Drugs/Alcohol Bob Wallace, Phil Davis and the Haynes sisters drink champagne at Jimmys Back Room. Sexual References Bob Wallace and Phil Davis talk about how Phil chases women. Betty and Bob kiss during the Count Your Blessings Reprise. A few of the female performers in Blue Skies come out in revealing costumes, but are then told by Phil to go change. Phil and Bob dress up like the Haynes sisters and perform Sisters as a joke. Martha jokes that she and the General are like a married couple, but they never have sex. At the end of the show, Bob and Betty are a couple and Phil and Judy are a couple.



FRONT ROW : Count Your Blessings

CENTER STAGE: Im Dreaming of...


CURTAIN CALL : Learning Activities

WHOS WHO: IRVING BERLIN HISTORY: VAUDEVILLE TIME LINE: WORLD WAR II LEARNING ACTIVITIES ......... ......... ......... ......... 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

BACKSTAGE : About Musical Theatre



TUTS creates online study guides for use by educators and parents in an effort to enhance and build upon students theatrical experiences. These study guides contain background information, historical facts, discussion questions, project ideas and learning activities to encourage students to engage in analysis, research and personal reflection that will hopefully create life long appreciation and enjoyment of musical theatre.

F R O N T R O W : Count Your Blessings

Photo courtesy of imbdmovie.com

Story Behind the Story

Irving Berlins White Christmas debuted as a movie in 1954 starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. The title song, White Christmas, was introduced in Berlins film Holiday Inn in 1942, which Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire co-starred in. White Christmas was going to be their third film together, but Astaire turned down the movie after reading the script. Second choice, Donald O Conner, also turned down the film, which is how Danny Kaye landed the role of Phil Davis. Paul Blake and David Ives adapted the stage musical version of White Christmas. The pair changed some characters and tweaked some plot lines to incorporate several Berlin songs not featured in the movie. The show premiered in San Francisco in 2004 under the title Irving Berlins White Christmas. After touring the United States and Great Britain, the show opened on Broadway in New York in 2008 and was nominated for two Tony Awards and six Drama Desk Awards soon after. TUTS produced the show in 2008.

Irving Berlin
Photo courtesy of theatremania.com

Movie vs Musical
Photos cour tesy of tvwor thwatch ing.com

David Ives and Paul Blake

Many of the songs used in the movie version of White Christmas were recycled from Berlins previous films. White Christmas originated in Holiday Inn, and the song Blue Skies came from the movie Blue Skies. Other reused numbers include: Let Me Sing and Im Happy and Heat Wave. The musical number Snow was adapted from Berlins song Free from the musical Call Me Madam. Berlin wrote Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep specifically for White Christmas and was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song. Additionally, Sisters was a new song written for the movie. The film was enormously popular with audiences and it became the top money making movie of 1954 generating $12 million at the box office. The stage version included additional Berlin songs, namely: I Love a Piano, How Deep is the Ocean?, and Ive Got My Love to Keep Me Warm. However, Its Cold Outside, Heat Wave, Gee I Wish I Was Back in the Army, Choreography and the Id Rather See a Minstrel Show medley were not used on the stage. Some plot details from the movie were changed to read better on the stage as well. There were a few notable changes in the stage version from the movie. The ongoing bit about Wallace saving Daviss life from a toppling wall during battle, which came up multiple times in the movie, was cut from the stage version. The reference to the The Ed Sullivan Show was actually mentioned on stage, whereas the movie simply names an Ed Sullivan-type-show. Wallace and Davis musical within the show was also changed from Playing Around in the movie to Blue Skies on stage.


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F R O N T R O W : Count Your Blessings

Characters Character Descriptions
Betty Haynes
The sensible and responsible half of the Haynes Sisters. She is hesitant to take the spotlight for herself and is devoted to her younger sister. She falls in love with Bob Wallace.
Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008 Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

Phil Davis
The fun-loving song-and-dance partner of Bob Wallace. An irresponsible clown and ladies man with boyish charm, he is determined to see Wallace happy. He falls in love with Judy Haynes.

Bob Wallace
The guiding force behind the song and dance team of Wallace and Davis. Despite his occasional gruffness, he is a deeply kind and principled man who falls in love with Betty Haynes.

Judy Haynes
The younger, more ambitious, scheming Haynes sister. She is flirty with a winning charm. She falls in love with Phil Davis.

Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

General Henry Waverly

A retired U.S. Army General adjusting to returning to civilian life. Once a powerful leader, he now runs the struggling Columbia Inn in Vermont. He is a man of great principle and dignity, but needs his family and love.

Susan Waverly
The Generals granddaughter visiting from her home in California, Susan is a lovable and outgoing kid. She is very smart and cares deeply about her grandfather.

Martha Watson
Once a Broadway star, she is now the Generals housekeeper and receptionist at the inn. She runs his life in spite of his protests. She is a meddler but means well.

C E N T E R S T A G E : Im Dreaming of...
Detailed Synopsis
ACT ONE The story begins with World War II U.S. Army buddies, Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, on Christmas Eve 1944 somewhere on the Western Front. The troops have gotten hold of a Christmas tree, and Wallace and Davis are putting on a make-shift holiday show for the troops of the 151st Division (White Christmas/Happy Holidays). Major General Henry Waverly arrives for the end of the show and holds a field inspection before being relieved of command of the 151st Division.
Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

They discover that the Columbia Inn in Pinetree is run by their former commanding officer, Major General Waverly, and its about to go bankrupt because of the lack of snow and, therefore, lack of guests. The General has invested all of his savings, pension and hope into the inn, so the foursome want to help out and bring business back (What Can You Do with a General). Wallace and Davis bring Blue Skies and their entire Broadway cast to Vermont and add Betty and Judy into the show. Martha, Columbia Inns concierge, also gets in on the show after impressing Wallace and Davis with her talent (Let Me Sing and Im Happy). That night, the Generals granddaughter, Susan, is upset. She cant sleep because she discovered her grandfather tried to rejoin the army but was rejected and now feels like he doesnt belong. Wallace comforts her until she falls asleep (Count Your Blessings) and then shares a romantic moment with Betty. After hearing about the Generals rejected plans to rejoin the Army, Wallace decides to prove to him that he is not forgotten. He calls his friend and former army cohort, Ralph Sheldrake, at the Ed Sullivan Show to have him send out letters to the men under the command of the General in the war. The letters are part of a secret plan to get the men to come to the inn for the holiday and surprise the General. Sheldrake returns Wallaces call to let him know that the secret plan is going great, but Martha answers the phone and confuses the message thinking Sheldrake is a real estate bigwig and that Wallace is going to force the General to sell the inn. After Martha tells Betty about the phone call, Betty confronts Wallace about his intentions but still doesnt learn the truth (Blue Skies).

After the war in 1954, the pair, now labeled Americas favorite song-and-dance-team, appear on The Ed Sullivan Show (Happy Holidays/Let Yourself Go). Wallace and Davis plug their new show Blue Skies set to open on Christmas Eve in Florida. Before leaving their dressing room, Davis tells Wallace about a letter he received from an old army buddy of theirs asking them to go watch his sisters act. Davis convinces Wallace he needs to fall in love and that the Haynes sisters could be good for them (Love and the Weather), so Wallace reluctantly agrees to go watch the girls. They go to the club to audition the sister act (Sisters), only to discover that Judy actually sent Davis the letter. Wallace and Davis have train tickets to go to Florida for their new show that night, while Betty and Judy are booked to leave for Pinetree, Vermont. Davis and Judy dance together at the club and decide to trick Wallace into going to Vermont so all four of them can be together (The Best Things Happen While Youre Dancing). Wallace and Davis board the same train as the Haynes sisters, and it doesnt take long for Wallace to figure out he has been played. The four begin to get excited about arriving in Vermont (Snow), but when the train pulls in, things are not exactly as expected.

Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

C E N T E R S T A G E : Im Dreaming of...
Detailed Synopsis
ACT TWO A full run-through of the show is taking place in the barn (I Love a Piano) while romantic drama ensues: Judys angry at Davis for his flirtatious manner with all the chorus girls, and Betty is packing for New York because of what she thinks Wallace is going to do to the General (Falling Out of Love Can Be Fun). Susan is also desperately trying to create an act to be part of the show but is turned down by Wallace and Davis. Back in the rehearsal hall, nobody can find the Hayes sisters, so Wallace and Davis rehearse their number for them (Sisters Reprise). Susan tells Wallace that Betty has left for New York, and he goes after her immediately.
Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008 Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

Before leaving New York, Wallace makes another appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show to announce one final time that all the men of the 151st Division should go to the Generals inn for Christmas (Well Follow the Old Man). Wallace and Betty return to the inn to find that Judy and Davis have gotten engaged, and Susan is going to have an act in the show (Let Me Sing and Im Happy Reprise). On the night of the show, Martha convinces the General that all of his suits have been sent to the cleaners, and General Waverly concludes that hell have to appear in his old uniform. The cast is getting ready in the barn when Wallace and Betty confess their love for one another (How Deep Is the Ocean Reprise). When the General enters the barn where the show is to take place, he is greeted by his former division (Well Follow the Old Man Reprise). The show is performed without a hitch (Happy Holiday/White Christmas), and snow begins to fall as the foursome celebrate their love (Finale: Ive Got My Love To Keep Me Warm).

In New York, Betty is performing at The Regency Room (Love You Didnt Do Right by Me/How Deep is the Ocean). Wallace brings Sheldrake to watch Bettys performance and afterwards they explain the secret plan to her. Betty agrees to return to Vermont.

Photo courtesy of TUTS 2008

C U R T A I N C A L L : Learning Activities
Photo courtesy of notablebiography.com

Whos Who: Irving Berlin

Who is Irving Berlin?
Irving Berlin composed the music for White Christmas, but that is just one of his many accomplishments. In his lifetime, he produced more than 800 songs, many of which became instant classics, including the songs White Christmas and God Bless America.

How did Berlin get his start?

Irving Berlin, named Israel Baline, was born in Russia on May 11, 1888 and was the youngest of eight children. His father was a religious singer and taught Berlin how to sing at a young age. Berlins family was Jewish and was forced to leave Russia for America after religious persecutions in 1893. Their new life in New York was difficult, and Berlins father died just three years after his family arrived in America. Berlin had no formal education, and he never learned how to read or write English or music. Yet, he had a natural talent for the arts, and at age fourteen he earned money by singing in bars and on the streets. In 1906, Berlin got a job as a singing waiter in Chinatown where he would entertain customers by changing the lyrics of popular songs to ones he made up. He wrote his first song, Marie from Sunny Italy while working at a restaurant. He was so good that he began to receive recognition for his talents and was hired by a publisher to write songs. He had to have someone else write the musical notation of his melodies, since he had never learned how, but within a year, he became prominent in the music business.
Photo courte sy of li brary.j hu.org

The many musicals of Berlin

Berlin wrote, his first musical score, Watch Your Step, in 1914 and continued to write even while he served in the army during World War I. He amused his fellow soldiers with songs like Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning, and he even wrote an entire musical about soldiers titled Yip, Yip, Yaphank. He established his own music publishing company in 1919, and his career took off from there. Some of his most renowned musicals include Ziegfeld Follies, Music Box Reviews and Annie Get Your Gun. He also wrote musical scores for a number of films, a few of which were Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, Holiday Inn, Blue Skies and, of course, White Christmas. Berlin died on September 22, 1989 in New York but is remembered as a symbol of American culture and for his many works that still live on today.
Photo co ur tesy of amclass. org

Learning Activities
Think and Create
Irving Berlin wrote songs based on real life experiences (like serving in the army) and how they made people feel (not always happy to be in the army). Think about a life experience and a feeling that goes with it. It could be studying for a big test or preparing for a sports game. Create your own lyrics for a song based on that feeling. You can use the same melody of a song you already know, or Create your own melody.

Imagine and Write

Imagine you, like Irving Berlin, have to leave your home because other people there do not like your beliefs, religion or way of life. Write about what you would do if that happened to you? How would you feel? Would you stand up for yourself? Where would you go? How would you make a living?

Writing Challenge

Research and Discuss

Research a few of Berlins works. Discuss what you like best, what you like least, and why each one was or wasnt successful.

Interview a family member, friend, classmate or teacher who had to leave their home. Why did they have to leave? What did they do? Then Write an article in third person about their experience.

C U R T A I N C A L L : Learning Activities
Photo cou

History: Vaudeville
What is vaudeville? Song-and-dance-duos like Wallace and Davis and The Haynes Sisters originated from vaudeville. Vaudeville was a variety performance made up of about a dozen acts which were all different in style. Typically there was juggling, musicians, child stars, comedic sketches and almost any other kind of entertainment imaginable. The comedy of vaudeville was revolutionary because it wasnt just telling jokes. Some acts involved physical, slapstick comedy, while others established different roles in a comedy scene. For example, the comedy duo of George Burns and Gracie Allen would have sketches where George played the straight-man, not trying to be funny, and Gracie was the one who said and did ridiculous things. The performers would travel to different cities to perform. Once an act worked for performers, they would repeat it, making it their signature act. When did vaudeville begin? In the 1850s, entertainment among frontier settlers and in city-like settings flourished, and shows were created for all-male audiences that were sometimes risqu but always very comical. In 1881, ballad and minstrel singer Tony Pastor was among the first to create his own family friendly show. Performers and producers realized the money making potential of having a show geared to a wider audience, and vaudeville became a main source of entertainment. Many performers started out young or traveled as families, increasing the diversity of the entertainment. Vaudeville stayed popular until the mid-1920s, when it started to lose popularity because of radio programs and movie theatres. Nonetheless, vaudeville stages were home to more than 25,000 performers, and it was the most popular form of entertainment in America. What is vaudevilles impact on todays culture? Although vaudeville ended its reign in the 1920s, the format, acts and ideas behind vaudeville are still evident today. The first silent films featured some famous vaudeville performers, like Burt Williams and Charlie Chaplin. The TV and talkie movie industry utilized many vaudeville performers and adopted the style. Shows like The Ed Sullivan Show and modern day late night talk shows reflect the variety found in vaudeville acts. Even today, more than eighty years later, Saturday Night Live is still a sketch comedy show in a similar vaudeville format.

rtesy of TUTS 2008

Bob Wallace & Phil Davis

Photo courtesy of nnbd.com

George Burns & Gracie Allen


nes tty Hay e B & y Ju d

court esy o f TUTS 2008

Imagine and Write

Imagine you are a traveling vaudeville performer. Write about your travels. Where have you performed? Who do you perform with? What kind of act do you have? How does the audience respond to your act? What is the best part of being a vaudeville performer? What is the worst part? Bring the act you imagined to life! If you are a dancer, make up a routine. If you are a singer, learn a song. If you have a comedy act, think of a sketch. Then Perform your act for friends and family.

Research and Discuss

Learning Activities

Research famous vaudeville performers. Some suggestions include Bob Hope, Mae West or Buster Keaton. Discuss what their acts were like, what made them successful (or not successful) and what you like or dislike about the way they performed.

Action Challenge

Compare and Contrast

Compare and Contrast Wallace and Davis and the Haynes Sisters with original vaudeville performers. How are the duos the same? How are they different? Would Wallace and Davis or The Haynes Sisters have been successful on the vaudeville stage?


C U R T A I N C A L L : Learning Activities
Time Line: World War II
World War II was fought mainly between two alliances, the Axis and the Allies, although neither group had a formal pact or even stuck with their alliances all the time. The Axis were the countries led by Nazi Germany and Japan while the Allies consisted of the United Kingdom, France, the Soviet Union, China and America. Although there were many factors that led up to World War II, two extremely significant events leading to WWII were: Japan left the League of Nations and Adolph Hitler gained power of the Nazi party making it the only political party in Germany. The U.S. did not officially enter the war until 1941. The time line highlights a few key events during Americas involvement in the war.



June 14 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt increases the U.S. Navy capacity by 11% with the Naval Expansion Act. September 14 - Congress approves the first peacetime conscription draft, which requires all men ages 18 to 64 to register with the government in case they need to draft them for a war.
Photo courtesy of history.navy.mil


Pearl Harbor

January 6 - Roosevelt approves a Lend-Lease program, which provides financial aid to the Allies. February 1 - A memo warning of a possible Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is sent to Roosevelt. July 26 - Roosevelt suspends relations with Japan. December 7- World War II officially begins for America with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese fighter planes destroy the U.S. Pacific fleet docked at the Hawaii base and cause the most navel casualties in history during this surprise attack.

Pear Harbor

Photo courtesy of allposters.com


Battle of Midway

June 4/6 - Japan sufferes heavy losses by the U.S. at the Battle of Midway. June 13 - Roosevelt creates the Office of War. June 30 - Women are accepted for WAVES, a volunteer emergency services program that allows women to serve in the military for the first time. Mildred McAfee is sworn in as the first female U.S. commissioned officer in Navy history a few weeks later.



January 11 - Roosevelt assignes $100 million of the U.S.s $109 million budget to war efforts. January 18- Metal, certain foods and gasoline are rationed by the U.S. Americans start growing Victory Gardens, buying war bonds, saving gas and donating their tin, metal and paper.



June 6 - The Allies invade Normandy, France. The U.S. and Great Britain assemble the greatest amount of men and material ever to launch the D-Day attack. Also known as Operation Overloard, the battle signifies a major turning point in the war. December 16 - In the Battle of the Bulge, German forces took two U.S. regiments by surprise and caused the largest battlefield surrender of U.S. troops in the war. 70,000 American soldiers died.

Photo courtesy of legacy.amaerica.net

Battle of the Bulge


Atomic Bomb March 11- The Battle of Iwo Jima enters its final phases, and Japans resistance is decentralized but with heavy American losses. Germanys Surrender Japans Surrender
May 7 - Victory Day in Europe marks the surrender of the Axis and the end of Hitlers reign. August 6 - The first atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima and killes more than 130,000 people. August 14 - Japan accepts the United States surrender terms and General MacArthur is appointed head of all occupied forces in Japan.



C U R T A I N C A L L : Learning Activities
Imagine and Write
The Best Things Happen When Youre Dancing is a song from White Christmas. Imagine a time when the best things happen to you. Is it when you are sleeping, eating, playing video games, with a pet, with your family or another time? Write about the time during which the best things happen to you. Include details about where you are, what youre doing and why youre doing it.

Compare and Contrast

Compare and Contrast the characters of Judy and Betty Haynes or Bob Wallace and Phil Davis. How are the two characters alike? How are they different? What makes them different? Do you think both characters are needed to tell the story? Do you think these two could be friends in real life?

Watch and Compare

Research and Discuss

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye were popular actors featured in a number of movie musicals during the 1940s and 1950s. Research the careers of these stars. How many movies were they each in? Were they popular with audiences? How did their movie career start? Could they sing in real life, or were their voices dubbed? Discuss what you found out about each performer. Do you think the two actors would be as popular in their time today as Zac Efron and Joe Jonas are today? World War II had a tremendous impact on America in the 1940s. Research the way the war affected Americans at home. What did they have to give up to help the war efforts? What was life like for them? Discuss how this compares to how we live today while the war in Iraq is going on. Do we have to give up anything? How does the war impact us as citizens?

Watch the 1954 movie version of White Christmas and Compare it to the musical. What is the same? What is different? Which do you like better? Would you have changed anything about the movie or the musical? Watch the movie Holiday Inn, which is where the song White Christmas first debuted. Compare Holiday Inn to White Christmas. Are they anything alike? How is the song used in each movie? Which movie do you like better? Do you like that the same song was used in both movies?

Listen and Compare

The song White Christmas is the most recorded song of all time and has also been translated into almost one hundred languages. Listen to a few different versions and Compare them to one another as well as to Irving Berlins original version. Which do you like best? Which do you like least? Why? Do the versions sound very different from Berlins? Try to listen to at least one version sung in a language you are not familiar with.

Online Resources
The Ed Sullivan Show (http://www.hulu.com/the-best-of-theed-sullivan-show)

Think and Create

White Christmas the movie trailer


Think about the format of The Ed Sullivan Show. It was a variety show that featured many different guests and sketches. Create your own variety show where you are the host. Who would you interview? What would you talk about? Who would perform for your show? Who would you want your commercial sponsors to be? Would your show be aired live or taped?


World War II Information (http://www.pbs.org/ Irving Berlin Biography(http://www.notablebiographies. History of Vaudeville (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/
com/Be-Br/Berlin-Irving.html#ixzz1PSNDmkKx) americanmasters/episodes/vaudeville/about-vaudeville/721)


B A C K S T A G E : About Musical Theatre

The origins of musicals can be traced back to 500 B.C. when the ancient Greeks first performed shows with song and dance. Looking forward into the 19th century, European operas and operettas began to influence American musical culture. In 1860, Laura Keene starred in the first musical burlettz (burlesque) The Seven Sisters. Six years later (1866), the first show to resemble a modern day musical, The Black Crook, premiered in New York City. In 1907, Florenz Ziegfelds first revenue of popular songs, Follies, was born with lavish costumes, ornate sets and a display of star performers.


Photo courtesy of musicals101.com

Photo courtesy of valdosta.edu

The 20s and 30s introduced famous composers such as Irving Berlin and George Gershwin, among others, to the musical scene. The collaboration of Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II and Ziegfeld led to the ground-breaking Show Boat in 1927, which integrated a book, score and songs to tell a narrative. In 1934, Cole Porter and Ethel Merman teamed up for Anything Goes. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart opened The Boys from Syracuse in 1938, which was the first Broadway show to be adapted from a work of Shakespeare.

THE 1920s & 1930s

The Golden Age stretched from 1940 to 1960. Rodgers and Hammersteins Oklahoma! was the first musical to incorporate dance and music into the plot in 1943. The hits kept coming in the following years with: Irving Berlins Annie Get Your Gun in 1946, Rodgers and Hammersteins South Pacific in 1949, Harold Princes The Pajama Game in 1954, Lerner and Loewes My Fair Lady in 1956 and West Side Story in 1957 with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Highlights from the 1960s include: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in 1961, Fiddler on the Roof in 1964 and Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdons Sweet Charity in 1966.


Photo courtesy of theatremania.com

Beginning with Hairs rock music score in 1968, the age of Contemporary Musicals focused on unique concepts and ideas. Stephen Sondheim and director/producer Harold Prince became the musical leaders of their generation with the revolutionary Company in 1970. Andrew Lloyd Weber opened his controversial Jesus Christ Superstar in 1971. Michael Bennetts acclaimed A Chorus Line debuted in 1975, its success even overshadowing Bob Fosses Chicago, which opened the same year. 42nd Street opened in 1980 and the adaptation of Victor Hugos novel, Les Miserables opened in 1987. Walt Disneys animated film favorites were welcomed onto the stage with Beauty and the Beast in 1994 and Lion King in 1997. Meanwhile in 1996, Jonathan Larsons Rent, broke all barriers and was put in a class of its own.

Revivals of old shows have been frequent since 1977 , but there has been a host of new shows in the past decade. Mel Brooks musical about making a musical, The Producers opened in 2001 and Hairspray debuted with big haired Tracy in 2002. The extravagant version of OZ, Wicked premiered in 2003 and Avenue Q brought its puppet cast to life in 2004. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee allowed audiences into the minds of preteens in 2005 and Spring Awakening told the tale of teenagers in 2007. Most recently, Bono created the expensive and dangerous, yet thrilling Spider-Man in 2011. The Book of Mormon, by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone swept the 2011 Tonys with its fresh and funny story.

Photo courtesy of broadwayworld.com



Photo courtesy of nytimes.com


B A C K S T A G E : About Musical Theatre

STEP 1 : Gather the Ingredients
Combine the writers script with the composers songs and the lyricists lyrics to create a show that tells a story. The show itself should include several of the following elements: characters, conflict, humor, romance, costumes, sets, singing, dancing, animals, puppets and/or special effects. Meet with the producer to determine budget and the target audience.

Writer Composer Lyricist Music Director Producer Director Lighting/Sound Directors Choreographer Set Designer Costume Designer Prop Master Stage Manager Stage Hands Musicians Performers (singers/dancers/actors) Audience

STEP 2 : Mix it up
Add in the creative team, which includes the director, choreographer, music director, costume and set designers, stage manager, lighting and sound directors to the mix. Define the vision of the show and decide what it should look like. Discuss and plan what needs to be done to make the show come to life.

The Stor y

STEP 3 : Stir well

Hold auditions or try-outs for musicians, dancers, actors and singers. Hold call-back auditions to invite qualified performers for a second round of auditions. Determine and hire the performers and musicians that are a best fit for the show. Cast performers in appropriate character, ensemble and musical roles.

Musical Mixing Bowl

STEP 4 : Bake at high temperature

Teach the performers and musicians the show. Everyone should memorize their lines, know the correct notes to their songs and the rhythm and order of the choreography. Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse. Bring the performers, musicians, stage hands, lights, music, costumes, sets and all other elements of the show together for a full dress rehearsal otherwise known as a complete practice of the show, just without the audience. Work out all costume and set changes and really make sure everyone is comfortable in their roles, both on stage and backstage. Set the curtain call or bows.

Choreographer the person who creates the dances and movement patterns for the show Stage Manager the person who manages and takes care of the stage, sets and all special effects; directs the stage hands Stage Hands technicians and trained individuals who work side stage and back stage before, during and after the show to make all special effects, scene changes and clean-ups happen. Prop Master the person in charge of getting, storing, maintaining and sometimes creating the props used in the show.

STEP 5 : Serve with a smile

Add in the audience on opening night and perform. Broadway shows are usually performed in the evening, multiple days a week and sometimes in the afternoon for matinee shows. Dont forget to smile.




Applaud after scenes, songs, acts and at the end of the show. Otherwise try to keep quiet during the show.

Arrive at the theatre at least 30 minutes before the show starts and try not to leave the theatre, except during intermission.

Dont eat food inside the theatre. Save snacks for intermission.
Photo courtesy of TUTS


5 P.



Turn off cell phones before the show or put them on silent. Make sure not to text or use a cell phone during the show. Texting and the light from your cell phone are very distracting to both the performers on stage and the audience members around you.

Coming up in the 2011/12 Season



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June 5-17, 2012



March 28 - 30, 2012 9:30 & 11:15 a.m.



Theatre Under The Stars (TUTS) is Houstons acclaimed non-profit musical theatre company. Founded in 1968 by Frank M. Young, TUTS name originated from its first performance venue, Miller Outdoor Theatre. Since its founding, TUTS has produced more than 300 musicals including local, national and world premieres, making it a nationally renowned company. TUTS created the Humphreys School of Musical Theatre in 1972 as a way to provide stage experience and instruction to both students and professionals. TUTS expanded its education offerings in 2010 when The River, a program for children with special needs, became an affiliate of TUTS. Since 2002, TUTS has presented the Tommy Tune Awards annually, which honor the up and coming stars of Houstons high school theatre programs. TUTS is now housed in the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts where the fiber-optic ceiling keeps TUTS under the stars all year long. TUTS is pleased to present its 2011/12 season, Seeing is Believing!


The Hobby Center. Photo by Leah Polkowske Photography.

Connect with TUTS!

Theatre Under The Stars 713.558.2600 800 Bagby Suite 200, Houston, TX. 77002
www.tuts.com twitter.com/tutshouston www.facebook.com/TheatreUnderTheStars

TUTS thanks our Sponsors

Season Sponsor




As a parent/educator, you are the only person qualified to determine what is appropriate for your child(ren)/student(s), but we hope the information and rating system in this guide were helpful. This was designed and written by Dana Lizik and overseen by David Greiss, Mandi Hunsicker-Sallee, Jacqueline Martin, Scott Howard, Katie Curry and Misty Robertson. Please feel free to copy and distribute. Printed in the United States of America. First Digital Edition: July 2011.

Thank you!