Concerts from the Library of Congress, 2019-2020

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Ben West

Montpelier Room

Register on Eventbrite
(registrations available 09/11/2019, beginning at 10 AM)

Ben West, musical theater artist, historian and founder of Unsung Musicals Co.

This first of a two-part lecture sequence by Ben West, creator of the new documentary musical series The Show Time! Trilogy, offers an exciting account of the American musical’s early female authors, from vaudeville headliner Nora Bayes to legendary hostess Elsa Maxwell. In the first three decades of the 20th century, amidst the climax of the women’s suffrage movement and the aural revolutions of ragtime and jazz, these often-overlooked female trailblazers – librettists, lyricists, composers – were instrumental in opening doors for future generations and laying the foundation for an American art form.

The second lecture in the sequence, “Diversity and the Birth of Broadway: Early Black Authors of the American Musical,” takes place on Wednesday, February 19, 2020.