40 Years of Broadway:
Creative Influencers: 35 Composers & Lyricists
Over the past 40 years, I was able to be there to witness many of the later works of Golden Age composers and lyricists, and watch the next generation of them blossom into icons themselves. Most recently, it has been exciting over the last decade to see the new generation lend their voices, perspectives and talents to the Broadway canon.
Below is a list of those artists that had the biggest impact on my four decades of theater-going experience, and is not really complete. There are many others I could add, but I feel confident that these are a solid representation.
Most of the names on this part of the list were major composers and lyricists well before the early to mid 1980s, but who still contributed new works and revivals. Their works influenced culture during their time and continue to do so today - some are still contributing new shows today. I'm confident that far into the future, these writers will continue to be studied, performed, and revered. More importantly, they will continue to influence generations of writers seeking new ways of human expression.
Cy Coleman Marvin Hamlisch
Jerry Herman John Kander & Fred Ebb Jonathan Larson
Alan Menken & Howard Ashman Tim Rice
Stephen Schwartz Stephen Sondheim Andrew Lloyd Webber
The Contemporary Composers & Lyricists
Here is a group of writers who really came into their own over the past 40 years. They became reliable voices in the cultural conversation. Each had critical praise and their share of popular success. Perhaps just as importantly, they also had their failures, and they learned from those, emerging stronger. Most of these artists continue to create, and we are all the better for it - these are masters in the making.
Don Black Jason Robert Brown
William Finn Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens Elton John
Tom Kitt Michael John LaChiusa
Richard Maltby, Jr. Lin-Manuel Miranda Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman
Claude Michel Schönberg & Alain Boublil Jeanine Tesori
Frank Wildhorn David Yazbek David Zippel
Finally, these are the current generation of writers who have already made a name for themselves. Their modern perspectives represent a new wave of style, themes and politics. We are all the richer for their diverse, important voices. Several of them have achieved remarkable success - Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes. And they are just getting started. We needn't worry about the future - it is very bright.
Sara Bareilles Brandy Clark & Shane McAnally
Adam Guettel Joe Iconis Michael R. Jackson
Cyndi Lauper Dave Malloy Toby Marlow & Lucy Moss
Anaïs Mitchell Helen Park Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
Contest Question #15:
Of "The Masters" listed above, how many of them have shows currently running in New York City?