American musicals have always reflected the national mood, and many have tried to reinforce — or question — the character of the land that gave them birth.
“Oklahoma!” can be read as a wartime expression of national pride, while “Follies reflected a country, embittered by Vietnam and the torn fabric of the American dream. Broadway shows are often derided as being out of touch with contemporary life, but host Jack Viertel says musicals have been taking the nation’s pulse for over a century.
Watch our kick off to the new season of Encores! Unscripted — our series exploring how musicals have reflected and shaped American life. Featuring live performances by Mara Davi and A.J. Shively.
Watch the entire conversation: