Some critics say that “La La Land,” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, signals the return of the golden-age Broadway-style movie musical. While this trend is yet to be realized, “La La Land” does indeed hearken back to a time when the paychecks of Hollywood lured New York songwriters to sunny southern California.
That very transition from stage to silver screen is the subject of Ethan Mordden’s new book, “When Broadway Went to Hollywood.” As the title suggests, Mordden examines Broadway’s early influence on Hollywood, and vice versa. Much of the book follows songwriters like Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer and turns their careers into case studies of the personal and professional challenges of writing for the New York City stage and the Los Angeles screen.
“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with Mordden about his book, and you can listen to their conversation above.