would be made into operas altogether; acting as sung plays that would be the first templates of musical theatre. Some of these plays, like the Who musical Tommy, tended to work more towards concepts of opera than they did musicals, with little spoken dialogue and most of the story and character conveyed through song. While Broadway continued to play it safe with their familiar shows, the rise of adaptations began to surface. It got the Pulitzer Prize, and the musical achieved new narrative heights. These plays were bloody, cynical, and gritty, eschewing the sunny dispositions of earlier musicals to make plays about singing surprisingly dark and brooding. Gilbert and Sullivan also pioneered several conventions of the modern musical as well; in their shows, the dialogue and the lyrics were combined to make the story more understandable and sensible, even with the integration of music into the performance. An Introduction to Musical Theatre, the concept of musical theatre combines the drama and plot of a stage play with a musical component; the extent of this musical collaboration has changed over the years, from operas to orchestras to full-fledged plays. All of these contributions led to the overall success and survival of musical theatre, which was a miracle in a time when economic destitution was the worst this country has ever experienced. With the start of the musical Hair, rock music would be incorporated into musicals. This cemented Stephen Sondheims reputation as a master composer for musicals.
Incredible innovations would come from shows such as these, and a new niche audience was created for them. After Jacques Offenbach and Johann Strauss II would develop the style further, it would become popularized in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, Irving Berlin and Rodgers and Hammerstein. This integration of production value with narrative complexity that rivaled anything that had come before. Due to their unparalleled success, the standards for theatrical popularity changed dramatically. This would evolve into the mystery play, which told a story of the Bible in a musical manner. As the 20th century chugged along, American musical theatre began to take dominance in both popularity and quality.
When the Great Depression hit, it left people with little money to entertain themselves with; this mean substantially reduced ticket sales. Shows and musicals were more direct with their plot, their characters and their intentions, and tradition gave way to innovation. El Capitan by John Philip Sousa. Publishers Weekly calls this "the go-to text in this subject." Extensively revised, it has a new foreward. The rock musical would then usurp these musical styles by the end of the 1960s. These set the tone for musical comedies that would sweep across the face of musical theatre in both England and America, as many other theatres would copy these shows with increasing complexity, including Sidney Jones.