Musical

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musical Genre of popular dramatic light entertainment exemplified by firm plot, strong songs and vivacious dance numbers. It developed at the end of the 19th century from elements of light opera, revue and burlesque. The most popular musicals originated in the USA with the work of George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Stephen Sondheim. Audiences in the 1970s responded to the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, such as Jesus Christ Superstar (1971) and Evita (1978). Lloyd Webber was extremely successful in the 1980s with Cats (1981) and The Phantom of the Opera (1986). Successful film musicals, such as West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964) and The Sound of Music (1965), are generally based on stage originals. Original film musicals include Forty-Second Street (1933), Meet Me in St Louis (1944), and Singin' in the Rain (1952).