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Friday, September 28, 2018

Remembering Joe Masteroff

Seems like we are always talking about scores we love. And that we are always blaming the book for a show's shortcomings. I'm generalizing, of course. But the passing yesterday of Joe Masteroff was a sad reminder that we don't think of book writers that much. He had three shows on Broadway (as a librettist - he was also an actor, and playwright), but when we talk about them, we seem to always say things like "how about that glorious Kander and Ebb score?" or "my favorite song from that is 'Vanilla Ice Cream' !"  In fact, the only time I really ever hear about Masteroff's third show, 70, Girls, 70 is the Kander and Ebb score is good, but that book is a mess!"

But today, as I take a few moments to reflect on this loss to the Broadway community, I'm reminded that his other two shows are masterpieces.  In fact, they are two of my all-time favorites. Both Cabaret and She Loves Me are classics, due in no small part, to Mr. Masteroff's intelligent, witty and provocative books. I remember studying musical structure in college, and the professor citing She Loves Me as the gold standard against which all others should be judged. I'm fairly certain that all three of his shows will be seen on Broadway again. And for that I thank you, sir. Rest in Peace.














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