Music: Revivals

Twenty years ago, when gentlemen wore starched cuffs and ladies hid in corsets, musical shows were romantic, exotic and historical. The best of them, known as operettas, became minor classics and were repeatedly performed by stock light-opera companies throughout the U. S. During the peak years of U. S. operetta (1910-20), four composers dominated the field: Irish-born Victor Herbert (Naughty Marietta, etc.), Bohemian-born Charles Rudolph Friml (Katinka), Hungarian-born Sigmund Romberg (In Blossom Time), and Manhattan-born Jerome David Kern (Sally, Show Boat, etc.).

Operetta is no longer what it used to be. But last month Los Angeles launched a swank season of operetta...

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