An extravaganza is a literary or musical work (often musical theatre) usually containing elements of burlesque, pantomime, music hall and parody in a spectacular production and characterized by freedom of style and structure. It sometimes also has elements of cabaret, circus, revue, variety, vaudeville and mime.Extravaganza may more broadly refer to an elaborate, spectacular, and expensive theatrical production.
19th-century British dramatist, James Planché, was known for his extravaganzas. Planché defined the genre as "the whimsical treatment of a poetical subject."
The term is derived from the Italian word stravaganza, meaning extravagance.
Lucia Elizabeth Vestris was an English actress and a contralto opera singer, appearing in works by, among others, Mozart and Rossini. While popular in her time, she was more notable as a theatre producer and manager. After accumulating a fortune from her performances, she leased the Olympic Theatre in London and produced a series of burlesques and extravaganzas, especially popular works by James Planché, for which the house became famous. She also produced his work at other theatres she managed.
A burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. The word derives from the Italian burlesco, which, in turn, is derived from the Italian burla – a joke, ridicule or mockery.
James Robinson Planché was a British dramatist, antiquary and officer of arms. Over a period of approximately 60 years he wrote, adapted, or collaborated on 176 plays in a wide range of genres including extravaganza, farce, comedy, burletta, melodrama and opera. Planché was responsible for introducing historically accurate costume into nineteenth century British theatre, and subsequently became an acknowledged expert on historical costume, publishing a number of works on the topic.
The Black Crook is a work of musical theatre first produced, with great success, in New York in 1866. Many theatre writers have identified The Black Crook as the first popular piece that conforms to the modern notion of a musical, while others regard this conclusion "as something of a joke". The book is by Charles M. Barras. The music, selected and arranged by Thomas Baker, consists mostly of adaptations, but it included some new songs composed for the piece, notably "You Naughty, Naughty Men". The story is a Faustian melodramatic romantic comedy, but the production became famous for its spectacular special effects and skimpy costumes.
George Joseph Edwardes was an English theatre manager and producer of Irish ancestry who brought a new era in musical theatre to the British stage and beyond.
The Gaiety Theatre was a West End theatre in London, located on Aldwych at the eastern end of the Strand. The theatre was first established as the Strand Musick Hall in 1864 on the former site of the Lyceum Theatre. In 1868, it became known as the Gaiety Theatre and was, at first, known for music hall and then for musical burlesque, pantomime and operetta performances. From 1868 to the 1890s, it had a major influence on the development of modern musical comedy.
The Yellow Dwarf is a French literary fairy tale by Madame d'Aulnoy. Andrew Lang included it in The Blue Fairy Book.
Victorian burlesque, sometimes known as travesty or extravaganza, is a genre of theatrical entertainment that was popular in Victorian England and in the New York theatre of the mid-19th century. It is a form of parody in which a well-known opera or piece of classical theatre or ballet is adapted into a broad comic play, usually a musical play, usually risqué in style, mocking the theatrical and musical conventions and styles of the original work, and often quoting or pastiching text or music from the original work. Victorian burlesque is one of several forms of burlesque.
The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes is an annual musical holiday stage show presented at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The 90-minute show features more than 140 performers and an original musical score, and combines singing, dancing, and humor with traditional scenes. The star performers are the women's precision dance troupe the Rockettes. Since the first version was presented in 1933, the show has become a New York Christmas tradition. The 2019/2020 production ran from November 8, 2019 to January 5, 2020.
Priscilla Horton, later Priscilla German Reed, was an English singer and actress, known for her role as Ariel in W. C. Macready's production of The Tempest in 1838 and "fairy" burlesques at Covent Garden Theatre. Later, she was known, along with her husband, Thomas German Reed, for establishing and performing in the family-friendly German Reed Entertainments. There, she was a mentor to W. S. Gilbert, and her performances inspired Gilbert to create some of his famous contralto roles.
The Olympic Theatre, sometimes known as the Royal Olympic Theatre, was a 19th-century London theatre, opened in 1806 and located at the junction of Drury Lane, Wych Street and Newcastle Street. The theatre specialised in comedies throughout much of its existence. Along with three other Victorian theatres, the Olympic was eventually demolished in 1904 to make way for the development of the Aldwych. Newcastle and Wych streets also vanished.
Edward Everett Rice was an American musical theatre composer and producer active during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known as a pioneer of American musical theatre, who introduced to Broadway Clorindy, a musical by African-American writers with African-American performers.
Lydia Thompson, was an English dancer, comedian, actor and theatrical producer.
The Passing Show was a musical revue in three acts, billed as a "topical extravaganza", with a book and lyrics by Sydney Rosenfeld and music by Ludwig Engländer and various other composers. It featured spoofs of theatrical productions of the past season. The show was presented in 1894 by George Lederer at the Casino Theatre. It was one of the first musical revues on Broadway and led the fashion for such productions. The Casino Theatre produced a revue each summer thereafter for several seasons.
La Vivandière; or, True to the Corps! is a burlesque by W. S. Gilbert, described by the author as "An Operatic Extravaganza Founded on Donizetti's opera, La figlia del regimento." In the French or other continental armies a vivandière was a woman who supplied food and drink to troops in the field.
American burlesque is a genre of variety show derived from elements of Victorian burlesque, music hall and minstrel shows. Burlesque became popular in America in the late 1860s and slowly evolved to feature ribald comedy and female nudity. By the late 1920s, the striptease element overshadowed the comedy and subjected burlesque to extensive local legislation. Burlesque gradually lost popularity beginning in the 1940s. A number of producers sought to capitalize on nostalgia for the entertainment by recreating burlesque on the stage and in Hollywood films from the 1930s to the 1960s. There has been a resurgence of interest in this format since the 1990s.
Robert Ayres Barnet was an American musical theatre lyricist from New York City, active in New York and Boston in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Féerie, sometimes translated as "fairy play", was a French theatrical genre known for fantasy plots and spectacular visuals, including lavish scenery and mechanically worked stage effects. Féeries blended music, dancing, pantomime, and acrobatics, as well as magical transformations created by designers and stage technicians, to tell stories with clearly defined melodrama-like morality and an extensive use of supernatural elements. The genre developed in the early 19th centuryand became immensely popular in France throughout the nineteenth century, influencing the development of burlesque, musical comedy and film.
The Seven Sisters was an 1860 musical burlesque extravaganza produced at Laura Keene's Theatre in New York which ran for 253 consecutive performances, making it a tremendous success for its time. The play debuted on November 26, 1860, and ran through August 10, 1861. Though considered "rubbish" by critics, it was an important precursor to 1866's The Black Crook.
Olympic Theatre was the name of five former 19th and early 20th-century theatres on Broadway in Manhattan and in Brooklyn, New York.