Is the Musical Comedy Dead?

The reason most pre-1940 musicals are unrevivable is that their books tend to be both slapdash in literary quality and fanciful to the point of absurdity. It was only in the late 30’s that the songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart began to emphasize dramatic plausibility, most notably in Pal Joey (1940). And it was not until Rodgers joined forces with Oscar Hammerstein II in 1943 to write…