Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shine! The Horatio Alger Musical

This contemporary use of the 'Horatio Alger concept(s)' formulated into a play-


'"Shine!" is an original musical comedy based on characters and situations found in the works of Horatio Alger, particularly Ragged Dick and Silas Snobden's Office Boy... we stuck with Alger's pervasive theme: that in America one could begin with nothing, and with the right attitude, hard work, application, and a little bit of luck, dream a dream and chart a course on which to achieve it. '

The formulation of the ideas and situations in Ragged Dick being turned into a play shows how influential the ideas and values that Alger wrote of are, even years on. His message is seen as a truly 'American' one, an early pioneer of the American Dream. The content of the book is optimistic and uplifting- making it perfect for a musical. It shows that many Americans must still value Alger's hard work ethic and idea that 'any one can make it', and believe in the 'dream' to be drawn to a play of this kind.

The play is spreading Alger's uplifting message to further generations, though his ideas have been challenged (Michael Moore 'Horatio Alger must die') ideas of American exceptionism live on, which is essentially part of what Alger's myth is. Any one can make it in America with hard work education and dreams because America is 'exceptional'. This patriotism and pride is unlikely to go away any time soon, meaning Alger's myth is only embraced, accepted and spread further. Recently American politicians criticised Obama for not believing America is 'exceptional' proving it is still an important concept to many Americans; who would therefore agree with Alger's' exceptionalist' notions and buy into Alger 'inspired' things such as this play.

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