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Broadway: The American Musical

I Got Plenty o' Nuttin': 1929-1942 (Season 1, Episode 3)
TV Episode | Documentary, Music

The Great Depression ushered in a new era of the Broadway musical. Gone were the frothy, nonsensical shows of the 1920s. Broadway musicals were now either reflective of the harsh times (such as "Americana" which featured the unofficial ...See moreThe Great Depression ushered in a new era of the Broadway musical. Gone were the frothy, nonsensical shows of the 1920s. Broadway musicals were now either reflective of the harsh times (such as "Americana" which featured the unofficial anthem of the era, 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?'), political (such as the Gershwin's satire "Of Thee I Sing", the first musical whose book won the Pulitzer Prize) or earthy (such as the Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess"). Shows even dared to have as the leads unsavory characters, such as in "Pal Joey". When the shows were lighter in fare, they were more glamorous and sophisticated, which was evidenced in the shows of the young, urbane composer, Cole Porter. The Broadway musical was also aided by the Federal Theater, designed to mount productions so that people could work. One of the most notorious of these productions was "The Cradle Will Rock". New stars of the era included Ethel Merman with her trumpet-like voice, Ethel Waters who could not read music but who could sing a variety of musical styles, and young dancers Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. The United States' entry into World War II was also reflected on Broadway, most notably in Irving Berlin's "This Is the Army", which featured real life enlisted soldiers and Berlin himself. Written by Huggo See less
Read more: Plot summary
Writers
Michael Kantor | Martin Starger (conceived by) (developed in association with)
Cinematographers
Status
Edit Released
Updated Oct 20, 2004

Release date
Oct 20, 2004 (United States)

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Cast

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51 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Julie Andrews
Herself - Host Herself - Host   See fewer
Top 5000
Fred Astaire
Johnny Brett / Guy Holden (in 'The Gay Divorcee') (archive footage) Johnny Brett / Guy Holden (in 'The Gay Divorcee') (archive footage)   See fewer
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Hank Azaria
Marc Blitzstein (archive footage) Marc Blitzstein (archive footage)   See fewer
Top 5000
Mary Ellen Barrett
Herself (as Mary Ellin Barrett) Herself (as Mary Ellin Barrett)   See fewer
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Irving Berlin
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Anne Brown
Herself Herself   See fewer
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Kitty Carlisle
Herself (as Kitty Carlisle Hart) Herself (as Kitty Carlisle Hart)   See fewer
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Carol Channing
Herself Herself   See fewer
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Jerome Chodorov
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Bing Crosby
Billy Crocker (archive footage) Billy Crocker (archive footage)   See fewer
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Stanley Donen
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Ann Douglas
Herself Herself   See fewer
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Todd Duncan
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Philip Furia
Himself Himself   See fewer
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George Gershwin
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ira Gershwin
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Brendan Gill
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Micki Grant
Actress (archive footage) Actress (archive footage)   See fewer
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Michael C. Hall
Himself (voice) Himself (voice)   See fewer
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Ernest Harburg
Himself Himself   See fewer
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June Havoc
Herself Herself   See fewer
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Erin Hill
Sandra Mescal Sandra Mescal   See fewer
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Al Hirschfeld
Himself Himself   See fewer
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John Houseman
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Margo Jefferson
Herself Herself   See fewer
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Gene Jones
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Gene Kelly
Joey Evans (archive footage) Joey Evans (archive footage)   See fewer
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Robert Kimball
Himself Himself   See fewer
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John Lahr
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Angus Macfadyen
Orson Welles (archive footage) Orson Welles (archive footage)   See fewer
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Audra McDonald
Herself (voice) Herself (voice)   See fewer
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Ron McLarty
Himself (voice) Himself (voice)   See fewer
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Ethel Merman
Actress (archive footage) Actress (archive footage)   See fewer
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George Murphy
King Shaw (archive footage) King Shaw (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ronald Reagan
Johnny Jones (archive footage) Johnny Jones (archive footage)   See fewer
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Tim Robbins
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Ginger Rogers
Mimi Glossop (archive footage) Mimi Glossop (archive footage)   See fewer
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Franklin D. Roosevelt
Himself (archive footage) (as Franklin Delano Roosevelt) Himself (archive footage) (as Franklin Delano Roosevelt)   See fewer
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Members only
Artie Shaw
Himself (archive footage) Himself (archive footage)   See fewer
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Jonathan Marc Sherman
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Stephen Sondheim
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Stephen Spinella
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John William Sublett
Actor (archive footage) (as John Bubbles) Actor (archive footage) (as John Bubbles)   See fewer
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Mary Testa
Herself (voice) Herself (voice)   See fewer
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Tommy Tune
Himself Himself   See fewer
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John Turturro
Aldo Silvano (archive footage) Aldo Silvano (archive footage)   See fewer
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Ethel Waters
Actress (archive footage) Actress (archive footage)   See fewer
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Emily Watson
Olive Stanton (archive footage) Olive Stanton (archive footage)   See fewer
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Andrew Weems
Himself (voice) Himself (voice)   See fewer
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Max Wilk
Himself Himself   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

8.1 / 10 | 13 votes