The Oxford Handbook of Sondheim Studies

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-06-02
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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The Oxford Handbook of Sondheim Studies offers a series of cutting-edge essays on the most important and compelling topics in the growing field of Sondheim Studies. Focusing on broad groups of issues relating to the music and the production of Sondheim works, rather than on biographical questions about the composer himself, the handbook represents a cross-disciplinary introduction to comprehending Sondheim in musicological, theatrical, and socio-cultural terms. This collection of never-before published essays addresses issues of artistic method and musico-dramaturgical form, while at the same time offering close readings of individual shows from a variety of analytical perspectives. The handbook is arranged into six broad sections: issues of intertextuality and authorship; Sondheim's pioneering work in developing the non-linear form of the concept musical; the production history of Sondheim's work; his writing for film and television; his exploitation and deployment of a wide range of musical genres; and how interpretation through key critical lenses (including sociology, history, and feminist and queer theory) establishes his position in a broader cultural context.

Author Biography

Robert Gordon is Professor of Drama and Director the Pinter Centre for Performance and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London . He is an actor, playwright, critic and director who has written on acting theory, post-war British theatre, South African theatre, Oscar Wilde, Pirandello, Pinter, Stoppard, Osborne and Arthur Miller.

Table of Contents


Intertexuality and authorship: toward non-linear forms
Chapter 1. Sondheim's genius by Stephen Banfield
Chapter 2. Sondheim and postmodernism by Robert McLaughlin
Chapter 3. "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught": Oscar Hammerstein's influence on Sondheim by Dominic Symonds
Chapter 4. "Old situations, new complications": tradition and experiment in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Robert Gordon
Chapter 5. Anyone Can Whistle as experimental theatre by David Savran

The art of making art
Chapter 6. The Prince-Sondheim legacy by Miranda Lundskaer-Nielsen
Chapter 7. "Growing pains": revising Merrily We Roll Along by Andrew Buchman
Chapter 8. "Give Us More to See": the visual world of Stephen Sondheim's musicals by Bud Coleman
Chapter 9. Orchestrators in their own words: the sound of Sondheim in the 21st century by Nathan Matthews
Chapter 10. "Nothing More than Just a Game": the American Dream goes bust in Road Show by Garret Eisler

Sondheim in performance
Chapter 11. "It Takes Two": the doubling of actors and roles in Sunday in the Park with George by Olaf Jubin
Chapter 12. "Something Just Broke": Assassins after the Iraq War - a production and its reception by Joanne Gordon
Chapter 13. Sondheim on the London stage by Matt Wolf
Chapter 14. "And One for Mahler": an opera director's reflections on Sondheim in the subsidized theatre by Keith Warner

Sondheim across the media
Chapter 15. Evening Primrose: Sondheim and Goldman's television musical by Robynn J. Stilwell
Chapter 16. From screen to stage: A Little Night Music and Passion by Geoffrey Block
Chapter 17. More Sondheim: original music for movies by Roger Hickman
Chapter 18. Attending the tale of Sweeney Todd: the stage musical and Tim Burton's film version by David Thomson

Sondheim across genres
Chapter 19. A Little Night Music: the cynical operetta by Joseph Swain
Chapter 20. Croaks into song: Sondheim tackles Greek Frogs by Marianne McDonald
Chapter 21. Sweeney Todd: From melodrama to musical tragedy by Millie Taylor
Chapter 22. "Careful the Spell You Cast": Into the Woods and the uses of disenchantment by Ben Francis

Sondheim, identity and society
Chapter 23. Keeping company with Sondheim's women by Stacy Ellen Wolf
Chapter 24. Follies: musical pastiche and cultural archaeology by Robert Lawson-Peebles
Chapter 25. Narratives of progress and tragedy in Pacific Overtures by Paul Filmer
Chapter 26. Queer Sondheim by Scott F. Stoddart
Chapter 27. Sondheim's America; America's Sondheim by Raymond Knapp


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