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Kiki Sabater Acting for Musical Theatre II MIP Paper The Most Important Person in Musical Theatre History

: Theatre Producer Cameron Mackintosh
When examining the broad cannon of the shows in musical theatre that have made the greatest stamps on the theatre entertainment industry, it is difficult to ignore the mammoth hits of the last century that have come to shape the scope of what we now view musical theatre as being. The ever popular monoliths of musicals that fall easily in the category of the most well known musicals of our time include those of the newly cinimized “Les Miserables”, the epic “Miss Saigon”, the longest running musical of all time both in the West End and on Broadway, “The Phantom of the Opera”, and its close runner-up, “Cats”. What is common to and notable about these shows that have come to serve as musical theatre landmarks to an audience greater than those directly involved in the industry, is the man who is essential in their firs coming to the stage. A man whose keen insight and instincts have not only molded the world of musical theatre, but have similarly made him, as the New York times says, “the most successful, influential and powerful theatrical producer in the world” whose ability “[to] transform [the] musical into a global, highly profitable brand” (Gamerman) has been honored by for his contributions and excellence in Musical Theatre by no less than 5 prominent theatre organizations, as well as being knighted by Queen Elizabeth the II for his services to musical theatre; all of which suggest that Cameron Mackintosh, the world’s most prominent theatre producer is easily also musical theatre’s most valuable player.

To first understand how a producer, as opposed to a director, composer, lyricist,

Elliot to the stage. in 1981. While the initial idea of writing a musical about cats seemed less than inspiring to the majority of composers. or actor might be the most important person in the history of musical theater. . In the case of Mackintosh. Mackintosh was able to peak the interest of composer and lyricist Andrew Lloyd Weber to write the score for what would become “Cats”. Mackintosh enjoyed great success with this unlikely hit even after the establishment of West End and Broadway English versions as the show was to be translated and performed in over 20 other languages and 37 countries (Gamerman). “Cats” was a story about felines created on the stage by a large cast of dancer-singers that moved and inspired audience members for nearly 17 years on Broadway after transferring from its original production in the West End. his involvement in the creative side of the musicals he has produced far surpasses his involvement in the financial aspects of his productions. After his first somewhat less than successful forays into the world of theatrical producing in 1970’s London. it is of paramount importance to first understand the role of a theatrical producer.choreographer.S. In understanding that a producer’s role reaches far beyond garnering funds necessary for a production. Mackintosh struck gold in what would be later recognized as a genius decision to bring the story of a poem written by T. one can began to comprehend the scope of influence a producer’s work has in putting up a musical. Cats revolutionized the modern musical by pushing the boundaries of subject matter usually considered appropriate for the stage. though he was and remains solely responsible for financing his productions after his establishment as a prominent theater producer.

commercializing and popularizing the musical to a much broader audience than any musical to precede it. but also Schonberg and Boubil. Fantine. pop. and most recently being performed as a major-motion picture. “Les Miserables”. as well as the actors such as Colm Wilkinson. Judy Kuhn. Norm Lewis. Patti LuPone. Eponine. Michael Ball. and Samantha Barks (to name a select few) who would come to play the idolized roles of Jean Valjean. also produced by Mackintosh. Randi Graff.His next big hit came with his notion to produce a popular French concept album written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alan Boubil into a fully staged English musical in conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company that would become an absolute landmark of musical theatre being performed and translated into 25 languages. “Les Miserables” much like “Cats” was instrumental in revolutionizing the world of musical theatre. Mackintosh was also responsible for producing the “10th Anniversary Concert” at Royal Albert Hall in London in 1995 as well as the “25th Anniversary Concert” of “Les Miserables” in 2010. This epic sung-through musical would become a global phenomenon giving worldwide acclaim to not only Mackintosh. both of which were sold-out performances that were subsequently aired on PBS and sold in DVD and CD form to over 11 million viewers worldwide (Gamerman). that served to share the world of musical . Marius. Cosette. breaking from the traditional formats and styles of musical theatre as it incorporated aspects of opera. winner of 8 Tony Awards and 3 Olivier Awards. The great success of the musical on the stage is only rivaled by its success as a move-musical released in 2012. was first produced in the West End in 1985 (Laws). and Javert in subsequent productions of the show. and legit musical theatre in its score.

and entertaining over 130 million audience members worldwide (Laws).theatre to an audience far beyond regular theatre-goers as it came into the consciousness of the general public as a popular film.T.”. Following “Les Miserables”. another creation of Boubil and Schonberg that received the greatest advance ticket sales in theatre history as well as giving famed Pilipino musical theatre actress Lea Salonga.000 actors and technicians. her start in the industry after Mackintosh conducted a search for the role “Kim” in her hometown in the Philippines. and are among the most recognizable musicals of all time. The show opened in the West End and transferred to Broadway in 2006 bringing a classic film to the world of theatre. as well as “Miss Saigon”. Next came Mackintosh’s stage version of “Marry Poppins” based upon the 1964 film which he also had a hand in producing. Mackintosh . ("Cameron Mackintosh: Biography") which was also scored by Weber. again broadening the scope of the traditional Broadway musical and their audience. with “Phantom” employing over 10. much like that of “Les Miserables” became fundamental parts of the musical theatre cannon. These two incredibly popular musicals. Mackintosh saw similar successes with musicals “The Phantom of the Opera” that would become the most commercially successful musical of all time and the longest running musical of all time that outgrossed films “Titanic” and “E. Mackintosh’s involvement with this show is demonstrative of his great influence over the shape of modern musical theatre as well as the continued commodification and popularization of the genre to a more global audience.

handpicking the composer/lyricist team of George Stiles and Anthony Drewe . “Oliver!” which was produced in tandem with a BBC series. as well as the book writer. “Les Miserables” and “Phantom” is unimaginable as their progressive nature in . His decision to delve into the world of reality television for casting purposes again further expanded his audience. it becomes all too apparent that the world of musical theatre as we know it would be markedly different without his great influence. Additionally." Broadway the American Musical). Mackintosh is also known for the production of revivals such as “Oklahoma!” in 1999. Oliver and Nancy (Cameron Mackintosh: Biography). Mackintosh can also be credited with the advent of the touring musical in national and international tours as he recognized the possibility of sharing the magic of the Broadway musical far beyond the West End and Manhattan. Mackintosh not only created a new pocket of interest in the world of musical theatre but nourished the careers of writers and practitioners that would similarly further the world of the arts. giving him his start in the theatre that would later afford him the opportunity to become head-writer for BBC’s “Downton Abbey” (Cameron Mackintosh. “Carousel” in 1993. and most recently.was highly involved in piecing together “Poppins’’ production team. “I’d Do Anything” that was a competition for two of the lead roles in the musical. Julian Fellows. eventually making his revival a colossal West End hit. beyond the production of original musicals. A world of musical theatre without its striking landmarks of “Cats”. In researching the life’s work of Cameron Mackintosh.

the world of theatre and the arts reaches far beyond their individual impacts as standalone musicals. Without Cameron Mackintosh. 20 mackintosh-pays-homage-to-the-show-that-inspired-his-career-6167282.html>. Web. Ellen. N. Gamerman. <http://www. PBS. 20 Mar." The Wall Street Journal. n.. 2013. Roz. and where the commercial nature of the industry has allowed it a much broader audience and exposure than might otherwise be possible..d.p. n. n. 2013." Broadway the American Musical. Web. insular community whose impact would be reduced to a small audience of devoted theatre goers which leads one to surmise that without Cameron Mackintosh and his bringing theatre to a global audience. sir-cameron-mackintosh-les-miserables-1727618>. < artist/cameron-mackintosh-mn0000641919>." The Independent.d.p. Works Cited "Cameron Mackintosh. N. 20 Mar.birminghammail. <http://www. where genres are mixed and combined to create a striking piece of theatre. "Exporting Broadway.wsj. Web.allmusic." Allmusic." Birmingham Mail. "Mackintosh pays homage to the show that inspired his career. 2013. Web. n.html>.p.d.p.d. N.. ..independent.pbs. <http://www. Rather. the existence of the industry might fail to>. 2013. "Sir Cameron Mackintosh on Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera. 20 <http://online. 18. 20 Mar. n. "Cameron Mackintosh: Biography. the world of theatre would remain in a small. the production of these musicals has paved way to a world of theatre in which anything is possible. Laws.