Musical theater works, usually referred to as “musicals,” are performed around the world. They may be presented in large venues, such as big budget West End and Broadway theater productions in London and New York City, or in smaller off-Broadway or regional productions, on tour, or by amateur groups in schools, theaters, and other informal stages.
Some of the best-loved musicals, such as Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof, provide uplifting, optimistic messages and memorable songs that have established them as standards for both professional and amateur theater companies.
The three main components of a musical are the music, the lyrics, and the “book.” The “book” refers to the “play” or plot of the show. The music and lyrics together form the score of the musical. The interpretation of the musical by the creative team heavily influences the way that the musical is presented. The creative team includes a director, a musical director, and usually a choreographer. A musical production is also creatively characterized by technical aspects, such as set, costumes, stage properties, lighting, etc. that generally change from production to production.