Official 54 Set 5

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William Wheatley and Broadway Theaters

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What is the main purpose of the lecture?
  • A. To describe the influence of opera on Broadway productions

  • B. To explain how new technology allowed for enhancements to Broadway productions

  • C. To evaluate financial decisions made by theater owner William Wheatley

  • D. To examine elements that set a particular theatrical production apart from earlier ones

显示答案 正确答案: D

我的笔记 编辑笔记

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    NARRATOR: Listen to part of a lecture in a theater history class.

    MALE PROFESSOR: One of the things New York City is known for is its Broadway theaters—big productions, elaborate musicals.A lot of money goes into producing a musical—with the actors, costumes, scenery… and so on—the shows are designed to appeal to large audiences, to make the production financially viable.

    But theater didn’t always appeal to the masses.In the middle of the nineteenth century, it was mostly wealthy residents who were going to Broadway—they would see an opera that was probably written and produced in Europe before making its way over to New York.It was a scene for, uh, well… the socially prominent, the upper class—who attended these functions perhaps because they felt obligated rather than because of a genuine interest in theater.But, in the 1860s, something else started to occur: the middle-class population began to grow—and they were looking for a source of entertainment.Keep that in mind while I talk about a theater owner named William Wheatley.

    In 1866, William Wheatley had this show, uh… and it was different from most shows on Broadway at the time because it wasn’t an opera.And, it was developed right here in the United States… in English, unlike the operas, which were typically in Italian or French.Wheatley also decided to incorporate some fancy production techniques—stage effects.The show also included music to make it more entertaining.And, through a stroke of luck, a world-renowned ballet troupe became available just as Wheatley’s show was about to open, so he didn’t hesitate to include the ballet dancers in his production.

    Along the lines of those special effects I mentioned, Wheatley redesigned the entire stage for this show: every floorboard on the stage could be lifted up or pushed down—they were all moveable.This allowed for trap doors to be placed anywhere on the stage, so pieces of the set—uh, of the scenery—could easily be stored beneath the stage… and these trap doors also gave performers another, less traditional way to enter and exit the stage.While today we might not think much of it—things like this are standard nowadays—the concept was quite novel at the time of Wheatley’s show… and was one of the things that made the show a hit with audiences.

    Another innovative element in the show was a scene called the “transformation scene.”During this scene, the audience watched in amazement as the setting on stage changed from a moonlit cave to a throne room in a palace.Normally to have this type of major scene change, the curtains would close, the stage crew would remove the previous set and replace it with the new one, and then the curtains would open again.In this instance, though, the transformation took place in front of the audience using simple machinery.And this effect… it left a lasting impression on everyone who saw Wheatley’s production.In fact, those people were probably disappointed when they saw another show that didn’t contain something as, well… as elaborate or exciting.

    So look, when it premiered, Wheatley’s show took audiences by surprise… it appealed to large crowds, including the growing middle class.The show ran for almost two years straight in New York City, an achievement unheard of at a time when productions typically lasted weeks or months—not years.It also went on tour, visiting different cities across the United States for over 25 years.So… the show was quite a success.

    And with all that in mind, some people call Wheatley’s show the first musical on Broadway.Now, our current definition of a musical is that it tells a story through dialogue and song.In Wheatley’s show, the musical sections, well, they didn’t necessarily integrate well with the story, giving an overall impression of something more like a variety show.Yes, everything was loosely focused around a central theme… so maybe it’s fair to say, then, that this show gave audiences a hint of a new form of musical theater that would ultimately appear on Broadway in the decades to follow.

  • 旁白:听一段关于戏剧史的课程片段。

    教授:让纽约闻名的事物之一便是它的百老汇音乐剧,精致的音乐剧作品了。许多钱被投入到制作音乐剧上,包括演员,服装,布景等等。这些表演被设计用于吸引大批的观众,来使得作品能够获利。

    但戏剧并不总是用来吸引大众的。在19世纪中期,许多有钱的居民来到百老汇。他们期待欣赏的歌剧是,在欧洲编写和制作的,然后引进到纽约的歌剧。这是为社会上突出的上层阶级所打造的剧目,这些上层阶级参加这种社交集会,大概更多是因为他们觉得这是自己的义务,而不是因为真正地喜欢戏剧。但是,在19世纪60年代,别的一些事开始发生。中产阶级人口开始增长,并且他们在寻找一种娱乐方式。当我说到剧院主人威廉·瑞格理的时候,记住我刚才所提到的。

    1866年,威廉·惠特利举办了这场演出,它与当时百老汇的大多数演出不同,因为它不是歌剧。并且,它是在纽约创作的,用英语,不像那些典型的意大利语或法语的歌剧。瑞格理也决定将作品与一些有趣新颖的技术和舞台效果结合起来。表演也融合了音乐来使它更有娱乐性。并且,有幸的是,正好在每周秀将要上演之前,一个举世闻名的芭蕾舞团表示能出演。于是,他毫不犹豫地将这些芭蕾舞演员加入了他的作品。

    同时,除了上述的这些特别效果,瑞格理为了这个表演重新设计了整个舞台。每块舞台上的地板都能被抬起来或往下推——它们都是可移动的。这使得机关门能够被安放在舞台的任意处。于是,道具、布景的各个部分,都能被轻易地储藏在舞台之下。并且这些机关门也可以给表演者一个更不同寻常的方式出入舞台的通道。嗯,在今天,我们可能不觉得这有什么,如今这些东西是标配,这个概念在瑞格理表演的时代可是十分新颖的。这也是使得这部戏剧给观众带来巨大冲击的因素之一。

    另一个表演中的创新元素是一幕被叫做“变形舞台”的场景。在这一幕里,观众震惊地看到,舞台上的布景从被月光照耀着的洞穴变成一个皇宫中的金銮殿。一般来说要让这种主要场景变化,需要拉上帷幕,舞台工作人员会将先前的布景移除,并替换上新的布景,然后,重新拉开帷幕。虽然在这个例子中,在观众面前的场景切换用的是简单的机器。这个效果,给所有看了瑞格理作品的人留下了持久的印象。事实上,当那些人看到不包含这些内容,不如它一般精致或引人兴奋的另一部剧时,或许会感到失望。

    所以,看,起初瑞格理的戏剧让观众感到惊喜,它吸引了包括增长的中产阶级以内的大量观众。这部剧几乎在纽约上演了两年,在戏剧通常维持几周或几个月而不是几年的时候,赢得了前所未有的成就。它也在美国许多城市巡演了超过25年。所以,表演非常成功。

    根据这一切,有些人将瑞格理的戏剧称为是百老汇第一部音乐剧。现在,我们目前对于音乐剧的定义是它通过对话或歌曲的形式讲述了一个故事。在瑞格理的戏剧中,音乐的部分,呃,它们并没有与故事必要地衔接,给人以一种更像是晚会表演的总体印象。是的,所有的剧目都并不紧密地集中围绕中心,所以恰当来说,这种表演给了观众一个新形式音乐剧的暗示,这将最终于之后的几十年出现在百老汇的舞台上。

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    原文定位:In 1866, William Wheatley had this show, uh… and it was different from most shows on Broadway at the time because it wasn’t an opera. And, it was developed right here in the United States… in English, unlike the operas, which were typically in Italian or French. Wheatley also decided to incorporate some fancy production techniques—stage effects.

    选项分析:教授首先描述现在的百老汇戏剧,然后引入19世纪中期的百老汇戏剧:上层社会看的从欧洲进口的戏剧。以此作背景,引入1860年William Wheatley的革新。从定位点开始,教授重点介绍William Wheatley在各个方面对于百老汇戏剧的革新:本土制造,英语表达,面向中产观众、舞台创新、场景变化创新等等方面。可知D选项概括最准确。

    A选项不对。教授强调William Wheatleyopera的对比,而不是opera对于William Wheatley代表的百老汇戏剧的影响。

    B选项不准确,William Wheatley的革新不仅仅是新技术方面。

    C选项不准确,教授介绍William Wheatley的不仅仅是financial decision方面。

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