Theater: A Bluesy Hymn to Sturdy Values

THE HUMAN COMEDY Music by Gait MacDermot Libretto by William Dumaresq

The line between art and entertainment is often indistinct, and never more so than in musical theater. We tend to think of opera, the sung play, as the pinnacle of a form whose lower manifestations include the Viennese operetta and the Broadway show. But such rigid categorizing is myopic. Like M. Jourdain in Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, who was delighted to discover that he had been speaking prose all his life, even composers with the most commercial motives may turn out...

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