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Musicals

Mama Cass Elliot

A folk singer with a gift for turning formerly up-tempo tunes like “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” into unforgettable torch songs, Cass Elliot helped define the sound of her generation as a member of the Mamas and the Papas.

Joan Blondell

Known for playing character roles as a wisecracking, working-class girl, Joan Blondell performed in movies, television, and on stage from age one until her death.

Ora Bat-Chaim

A largely self-taught musician, Ora Bat Chaim had a thriving career as a cellist and concert manager before becoming a prolific composer in her late fifties.

Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur made a career of playing formidable, opinionated women in movies and on television.

Sophie Tucker

“The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas,” Sophie Tucker defied conventions about gender, age, weight, and ethnicity with her saucy comic banter and music.

Sylvia Blagman Syms

A jazz saloon singer with a gift for connecting with her audiences, Sylvia Blagman Syms continued performing despite ill health and was praised as one of the greats by performers that included Billie Holliday, Frank Sinatra, and Duke Ellington.

Bette Midler

Unapologetically bawdy, Bette Midler used elements from earlier brassy entertainers like Sophie Tucker in her comedy and music, but with a style that was all her own.

Dorothy Fields

Dorothy Fields wrote songs for a wide variety of musicals that became dearly loved classics of American culture, from “Hey Big Spender” to “A Fine Romance” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” which won an Academy Award in 1936.

Edna Ferber

In her novels, short stories, and plays, Edna Ferber captured the rich variety of life in America, from the Mississippi River in Show Boat to the wilds of Alaska in Ice Palace.

Betty Comden

Betty Comden wrote lyrics and librettos for enduring and beloved musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and Peter Pan, winning some of the industry’s highest honors.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Musicals." (Viewed on July 29, 2014) <http://jwa.org/topics/musicals>.

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