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A poster showing the chorus girls of a 1900 extravaganza. Rice & Barton's Big Gaiety Spectacular Extravaganza Co. - Gaiety Dancers.png
A poster showing the chorus girls of a 1900 extravaganza.

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. [1] Extravaganza may more broadly refer to an elaborate, spectacular, and expensive theatrical production. [2]

19th-century British dramatist, James Planché, was known for his extravaganzas. Planché defined the genre as "the whimsical treatment of a poetical subject." [3]

The term is derived from the Italian word stravaganza, meaning extravagance.

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  1. "Encyclopædia Britannica online". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2014-08-23.
  2. Ewen, David (1957). Panorama of American Popular Music . Prentice Hall.
  3. Planché. The recollections and reflections of J.R. Planché (Somerset herald): a professional biography (1872), Vol. II, p. 43