The 100 Most Important People in Musical Theatre

The 100 Most Important People in Musical Theatre

by Andy Propst


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From Show Boat and Oklahoma! to Wicked and Hamilton, the musical is constantly evolving thanks to the contributions of some of theatre’s most prominent figures.

Never have musicals been more popular than they are today. With live television broadcasts of shows like Rent and Hairspray and films like Mean Girls and Shrek being adapted to the stage, musicals—as well as the creators and artists who bring them to life—are at the forefront of popular culture.

In 100 Most Important People in Musical Theatre, Andy Propst profiles the individuals who have helped shape this beloved art form. Songwriting greats such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and 'scar Hammerstein II, Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber are some of the familiar names in the book. So, too, are performers such as Nathan Lane, Ethel Merman, Audra McDonald, and Patti LuPone, and directors and choreographers such as Bob Fosse, Harold Prince, Jerome Robbins, and Tommy Tune. Readers learn not only about these men and women’s exceptional lives and achievements, but can peek backstage at such groundbreaking shows as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, West Side Story, Company, and A Chorus Line, among others. Period reviews and interviews highlight both the shows and the people who contributed to them.

The profiles in 100 Most Important People in Musical Theater provide a terrific history of musical theater, guiding readers from the era of operetta and the ascendancy of the book musical to the emergence of the concept musical and contemporary productions—from The Mikado and The Phantom of the Opera to Fun Home and Hamilton. This book is an invaluable addition to any musical theatre fan’s library, and will also appeal to researchers and scholars.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538116180
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/09/2019
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Andy Propst is an arts journalist and author. His career has encompassed work with New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph Papp and Tony Award–winning director George C. Wolfe, as well as five years on-air at XM Satellite Radio’s XM 28 On Broadway channel. His writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Time Out/NY, Backstage, and The Sondheim Review and online at the site he founded,, as well as and He served as a judge for the Obie Awards (three years) and as a member of the nominating committee for the Drama Desk Awards (four years). In addition, he has served as a mentor for both the National Critics Institute and the National Music Theater Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. He also teaches criticism for the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy portion of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Table of Contents



George Abbott

John Murray Anderson

Boris Aronson

George Balanchine

Michael Bennett

Robert Russell Bennett

Irving Berlin

Leonard Bernstein

Marc Blitzstein

Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick

Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse

Gower Champion

Carol Channing

George M. Cohan

Cy Coleman

Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Agnes de Mille

Alfred Drake

William and Jean Eckart

Lehman Engel

Dorothy Fields

Harvey Fierstein

William Finn

Jules Fisher

Bob Fosse

George Gershwin

Ira Gershwin

W. S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan

'scar Hammerstein II

E. Y. “Yip” Harburg

Edward “Ned” Harrigan and David Braham

Lorenz Hart

Moss Hart

Victor Herbert

Jerry Herman

Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

John Kander and Fred Ebb

George S. Kaufman

Jerome Kern

Michael Kidd

Michael John LaChiusa

Nathan Lane

Jonathan Larson

Arthur Laurents

Gertrude Lawrence

Carolyn Leigh

Alan Jay Lerner

Goddard Lieberson

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Frank Loesser

Patti LuPone

Galt MacDermot

Cameron Mackintosh

Hugh Martin

Mary Martin

Audra McDonald

Alan Menken

Ethel Merman

David Merrick

Jo Mielziner

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Zero Mostel

Trevor Nunn

Joseph Papp

Cole Porter

Harold Prince

Tim Rice

Chita Rivera

Jerome Robbins

Richard Rodgers

Sigmund Romberg

Stephen Schwartz

Irene Sharaff

Hassard Short

Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake

Oliver Smith

Stephen Sondheim

Michael Stewart

Charles Strouse

Jule Styne

Ed Sullivan

Jeanine Tesori

Tommy Tune

Jonathan Tunick

Joseph Urban

Gwen Verdon

Robin Wagner

Ethel Waters

Kurt Weill

Bert Williams

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.



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