The libretto of a show consists of all the words. Libretto is a term from opera, an Italian word meaning “little book,” and the libretto of a musical is often called the book. (The Italian plural is libretti, but in English they are usually called librettos.) It is important to emphasize that the libretto is much more than just the dialogue; it also includes all of the stage directions and the descriptions of the sets. More important is that the libretto includes the structure of the show as a whole. It also specifies the relations between the scenes and the songs: what is spoken, what is sung, and what is danced, as well as the order of scenes. In the words of Peter Stone, author of the librettos of 1776 and many other shows, “a musical book is, in one word, construction.”
KeywordsWest Side Main Character Main Plot Operation Alligator Stage Direction
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