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Since 2008, The Silver Screen Oasis has been visited by over forty generous individuals who engaged in an online Q & A with our members about their books and experiences. Those prior visits are online and available to all here. As our friends at TCM inaugurate this new message board, we will be using this thread to post notices about upcoming guests when they visit. Continuing in that tradition this weekend, the members are preparing to welcome the next author, Matthew Kennedy, who will be the guest of the non-profit message board from April 18th-21st. Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s (Oxford University Press) by Matthew Kennedy is a story that is by turns epic, funny, puzzling, gossipy, and historically fascinating as it traces a cultural shift away from the musical at the center of American entertainment. This account of what happened to the big musicals made by Hollywood movie studios in that singular decade is the subject of our upcoming visitor's book to be discussed this weekend at the SSO. Matthew Kennedy, who has previously written biographies of Marie Dressler, Edmund Goulding and Joan Blondell, will discuss how high-priced, reserved-seat, two-show-a-day runs of big budget epic movies became wildly popular among studios after the success of Mary Poppins (1964), followed by My Fair Lady (1964) and the remarkable, record-breaking success of The Sound of Music (1965). Suddenly, producers at MGM, Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox threw money at a series of musical films that followed a certain formula for movie box office success: Lavish productions of non-controversial, family friendly topics + Julie Andrews + or, in a pinch, Rex Harrison + the notion that everyone can "sing" in the style of Harrison. On top of this, the directors who could guide such lumbering projects to success were few and far between (Vincente Minnelli's name came up...a lot). Unfortunately, the results were often critically and financially disappointing. A phenomenal conglomeration of talents behind the camera and in front of the lens could not stem the tsunami of change that was washing over the world of entertainment, especially when the films' stories were overshadowed by the salaries of those involved. Lavishly made movies such as Doctor Dolittle (1967), Camelot (1967), Star! (1968), Paint Your Wagon (1969), and Man of La Mancha (1972) ultimately led to the demise of the roadshow, with their huge publicity campaigns, reserved seating, costumed ushers, souvenir programs and the idea of going to the movies as a special occasion becoming but a memory. In his highly entertaining and well-researched book, Matthew Kennedy brings the creative and corporate dramas surrounding this aspect of film history alive with great detail, telling anecdotes and portraits of the often all-too-human figures involved, just as he did previously when he was our guest author, discussing the impact of such diverse figures as comedic actress Marie Dressler [Marie Dressler : A Biography], director Edmund Goulding [Edmund Goulding's Dark Victory: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy] and actress Joan Blondell [Joan Blondell: A Life between Takes]. Please accept this invitation to learn more this weekend about Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, which has been described as "a brilliant, gripping history of film musicals and their changing place in our culture." All are welcome! Below are links to Matthew Kennedy online, news about the excellent critical reception to Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s, and a link to his previous Q & A when he was a guest at the SSO previously in 2008: Matthew Kennedy Books Matthew Kennedy on Facebook Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s Critical Reception Online Matthew Kennedy Q & A on the SSO in 2008