"Chicago's" strong lineup of Oscar nominations has led some to predict that the movie musical will tap-dance back to center stage. That would mark the most recent uptick in the form's decidedly cyclical popularity, which author Emanuel Levy tracks in his new book "All About Oscar" (Continuum). Some musical history, drawn from Levy's compilation:
First musical to win the best picture Oscar: MGM's "The Broadway Melody" (1928-29), advertised as "all talking, all singing, all dancing."
Decade with the most Oscar-nominated musicals: the 1930s, which produced about half of the nominees.
Decade with the fewest: the 1940s, with only two -- "Anchors Aweigh" and "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
Decade with the most musical winners: the 1960s. Four of the decade's best picture picks were musicals: "West Side Story" (1961), "My Fair Lady" (1964), "The Sound of Music" (1965) and "Oliver!" (1968).
Number of nominations for "West Side Story": 11. It won 10 Oscars.
Number of musicals nominated for best picture in the 1970s: three -- "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971), "Cabaret" (1972) and "All That Jazz" (1979).
Number of years between "All That Jazz" and the next best picture nomination for a non-animated musical: 22.