Where: The Loft Cinema

Cost: $195.00 for 8 session(s)

Type: In Person


Instructor: Richard T. Hanson Richard T. Hanson is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona. At the School of Theatre Arts, he created the nationally known Musical Theatre Program and headed the Acting/Musical Theatre Division.
Richard T. Hanson

Join Richard Hanson for a celebration of the contributions of America’s great musical performers, composers, lyricists, directors, producers and studios who made the movies sing and dance. Hooray for Hollywood! traces the growth and development of the movie musical from The Jazz Singer to Chicago and Dream Girls to Into The Woods.

There are certain cultural periods in which audiences and the creative artist are in sync – each feeding the other. Shakespeare’s audience at the Globe Theatre encouraged his art and in the 20th Century, audiences responded to film. Movies, first dismissed as a cheap opium for the masses were embraced and adored by the public who couldn’t get enough of those images that flickered on the silver screen.

Movies were never bound by the past or traditions that govern other arts. Movie makers made it up as they went along. If the public liked it, they made more. If not, they changed the form or subject. The purpose of the movies was always to entertain – and with the creation of the movie musical, the goal of entertainment grew more important. Fantasy and romance are central to the musical. Life is seen as a song in lavish production numbers. Movie musicals present the dream: life as it should be, not as it is.

Musicals spring from popular culture and reflect the world of the moviegoer. The Depression paved the way for Busby Berkeley and his Golddiggers. World War II and the yearning for home gave Americans Meet Me In St. Louis and Yankee Doodle Dandy. The tabloid culture of the new millennium produced Chicago and Dreamgirls. Musicals allow the human spirit to soar. Music is emotional and expresses what mere words cannot. Musicals allow “All those little people in the dark” to recognize their own hopes and dreams projected on a huge screen that is a wishful mirror of life.

Fall in love again with the Warner Bros. back stage musicals: “You’re going out a youngster but you’ve got to come back a star!” Board the Good Ship Lollipop at 20th Century Fox with Shirley Temple and mingle with those “Foxy Blondes:” Alice Faye, Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe. Fly down to Rio with Fred & Ginger in the Art Deco masterpieces at RKO. Hit the road with Bob and Bing at Paramount. Follow the Yellow Brick Road at MGM with Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion. Throw away that umbrella and splash with Gene Kelly in his masterpiece, Singin’ In The Rain. Enter the enchanted kingdom of musical animation with Mickey and Minnie at Disney.

We invite you to put on your tap shoes and join Dick & Ruby, Mickey & Judy, Bob & Bing, Fred & Ginger, Nelson & Jeannette, Tom & Jerry, and a cast of thousands in a Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! extravaganza that salutes the musical on the silver screen. As the great Al Jolson said in The Singing Fool, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

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Register for Hooray for Hollywood

Online registration has been closed for this class. Please call (520) 777-5817 for information.