The American Musical and the Performance of Personal Identity

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-02
  • Publisher: Princeton Univ Pr

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The American musical has long provided an important vehicle through which writers, performers, and audiences reimagine who they are and how they might best interact with the world around them. Musicals are especially good at this because they provide not only an opportunity for us to enact dramatic versions of alternative identities, but also the material for performing such alternatives in the real world, through songs and the characters and attitudes those songs project.This book addresses a variety of specific themes in musicals that serve this general function: fairy tale and fantasy, idealism and inspiration, gender and sexuality, and relationships, among others. It also considers three overlapping genres that are central, in quite different ways, to the projection of personal identity: operetta, movie musicals, and operatic musicals.Among the musicals discussed areCamelot, Candide; Chicago; Company; Evita; Gypsy; Into the Woods; Kiss Me, Kate; A Little Night Music; Man of La Mancha; Meet Me in St. Louis; The Merry Widow; Moulin Rouge; My Fair Lady; Passion; The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Singin' in the Rain; Stormy Weather; Sweeney Todd;andThe Wizard of Oz.Complementing the author's earlier work,The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity, this book completes a two-volume thematic history of the genre, designed for general audiences and specialists alike.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. ix
Explanatory Note about Audio Examplesp. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Entr'actep. 1
Personal Genresp. 15
The Viennese Connection: Franz Lehaacute;r and American Operettap. 17
The Merry Widow (1907)p. 20
Naughty Marietta (1910)p. 31
Little Mary Sunshine (1959)p. 40
A Little Night Music (1973)p. 50
The Movie Musicalp. 65
Singin' in the Rain (film, 1952)p. 70
Stormy Weather (film, 1943) and Bamboozled (film, 2000)p. 79
Meet Me in St. Louis (film, 1944)p. 94
Moulin Rouge (film, 2001) and Chicago (film, 2002)p. 102
Personal Themesp. 119
Fairy Tales and Fantasyp. 121
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (animated film, 1937)p. 125
The Wizard of Oz (film, 1939)p. 131
Mary Poppins (film, 1964)p. 141
Into the Woods (1987)p. 150
Idealism and Inspirationp. 164
Camelot (1960)p. 170
Man of La Mancha (1965)p. 180
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1997)p. 189
Once More, with Feeling (television, 2001)p. 196
Gender and Sexuality p205
Annie Get Your Gun (1946)p. 209
Gypsy (1959)p. 215
Sweet Charity (1966)p. 228
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (film, 1975)p. 240
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1998; film, 2001)p. 252
Relationshipsp. 264
Lady in the Dark (1941)p. 266
Kiss Me, Kate (1948)p. 273
My Fair Lady (1956)p. 284
Company (1970)p. 293
Passion (1994)p. 303
Epiloguep. 311
Operatic Ambitions and Beyondp. 313
Candide (1956)p. 317
Sweeney Todd (1979)p. 331
Evita (1979)p. 342
Appendix: Additional Resourcesp. 357
Notesp. 377
Bibliographyp. 433
Indexp. 449
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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