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Music + Dance + Dialogue = A Musical!

October 09, 2015

Learn from Charles Troy how the iconic Broadway musicals came together

Indulge your appetite for Broadway musicals by joining other enthusiasts at a Lifelong Learning program about the genre. Charles Troy will entertain and educate you during his engaging 45-90 minute visual history of Carousel or Fiddler on the Roof or West Side Story or any one of dozens more.

Charles became passionate about musical theater while in high school, applied his skills as a lyricist, and wanted to make a living in that arena. Like many youthful dreams, though, that didn’t come to pass. His passion hovered just under the surface while he worked in a family business, and he nurtured it as he could, becoming a musical theater historian in the process. His infatuation with the genre unexpectedly found expression more than 10 years ago when he began to create presentations for groups.

Charles had been to see the movie Topsy-Turvy, which was about the writing of The Mikado. He started thinking about Oklahoma, a favorite musical, and said, “Someone should write the backstory of Oklahoma.” He did. Then he began to explore and research the unique histories of other productions in this vibrant genre. … He was off and running!

“Early on,” said Charles, “my presentations were more rudimentary, with CDs, DVDs, and handouts with lyrics.” But soon he developed them into narrated more seamless multi-media presentations that include graphics (he’s a self-taught graphic designer), music, photos, and videos. One-half of his topics cover the backstory of a musical—when it was written, what inspired the creation, who worked on it, and how the production came together. Charles often sets the schedule for a particular presentation to coincide with a local theatrical performance. 

Now his repertoire includes more than the backgrounds of musicals. Charles can tell you about such luminaries as Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern. He also has become a noted expert on Cole Porter. Years ago, he hooked up with the annual Cole Porter Festival in Peru (IN), Porter’s birthplace, and has entertained the group annually with well-known to obscure facts about the composer. This past spring he created “Cole Porter and the Great Depression.” 

If you are honest, you will admit that when listening to a number from a Broadway musical, you tap your toes, bounce in your seat, and grin at the on-stage banter. Take time to indulge that hidden—or not so hidden—fondness for musicals by enjoying an upcoming Charles Troy presentation.