One of the most beloved film musicals of all time, The Wizard of Oz represents an enduring family favorite and cultural classic. Yet there is much more to the story than meets the eye, and the MGM movie is just one of many ways in which it has been represented. In this lively and wide-rangingbook, editors Danielle Birkett and Dominic McHugh bring together insights from eleven experts into the varied musical forms this great American myth has taken in the past century. Starting with the early adaptations of L. Frank Baum's story, the book also explores the writing, composition andreception of the MGM film, its importance in queer culture, stage adaptations of the movie, cult classic The Wiz, Stephen Schwartz's Broadway blockbuster Wicked, and the cultural afterlife of the iconic Arlen-Harburg songs. What emerges is a vivid overview of how music - on stage and screen - hasbeen an essential part of the story's journey to become a centerpiece of American culture.
The idea of American musical theatre often conjures up images of bright lights and big city, but its lifeblood is found in amateur productions at high schools, community theatres, afterschool programs, summer camps, and dinner theatres. In Beyond Broadway, author Stacy Wolf looks at thewidespread presence and persistence of musical theatre in U.S. culture, and examines it as a social practice - a live, visceral experience of creating, watching, and listening.s.
It was as if American television audiences discovered the musical in the early 21st century. In 2009 Glee took the Fox Network and American television by storm with the unexpected unification of primetime programming, awkward teens, and powerful voices spontaneously bursting into song. Glee would continue to cultivate rabid fans, tie-in soundtracks and merchandising, and a spinoff reality competition show until its conclusion in 2015. Alongside Glee, NBC and Fox would crank up musical visibility with the nighttime drama Smash and a string of live musical productions. Then came ABC's comedic fantasy musical series Galavant and the CW's surprise Golden Globe darling My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. ..
To see a Broadway musical is to experience how a drama, using melody, harmony, and rhythm, evokes the emotion needed to perpetuate a story line. Without music, many of these plays would not succeed, failing to convey the intended message. This new edition of Swain's classic text, reveals how a musical drama achieves plot movement, character development and conflict through strategic placement of song and music in 20 musical plays. Unlike critical literature that has simply explored theatrical style and production histories, this survey focuses mainly on the power of music.
To what extent can music be employed to shape one culture's understanding of another? In the American imagination, Japan has represented the "most alien" nation for over 150 years. This perceived difference has inspired fantasies--of both desire and repulsion--through which Japanese culture has profoundly impacted the arts and industry of the U.S. Anthony Sheppard's Extreme Exoticism offers a detailed documentation and wide-ranging investigation of music's role in shaping American perceptions of the Japanese, the influence of Japanese music on American composers, and the place of Japanese Americans in American musical life. Presenting numerous American encounters with and representations of Japanese music and Japan, this book reveals how music functions in exotic representation across a variety of genres and media, and how Japanese music has at various times served as a sign of modernist experimentation, a sounding board for defining American music, and a tool for reshaping conceptions of race and gender. From the Tin Pan Alley songs of the Russo-Japanese war period to Weezer's Pinkerton album, music has continued to inscribe Japan as the land of extreme exoticism.
Broadway musicals are one of America's most beloved art forms and play to millions of people each year. But what do these shows, which are often thought to be just frothy entertainment, really have to say about our country and who we are as a nation? The Great White Way is the first book to reveal the racial politics, content, and subtexts that have haunted musicals for almost one hundred years from Show Boat (1927) to The Scottsboro Boys (2011).
Since its Broadway debut, Hamilton: An American Musical has infused itself into the American experience: who shapes it, who owns it, who can rap it best. Lawyers and legal scholars, recognizing the way the musical speaks to some of our most complicated constitutional issues, have embraced Alexander Hamilton as the trendiest historical face in American civics. Hamilton and the Law offers a revealing look into the legal community's response to the musical, which continues to resonate in a country still deeply divided about the reach of the law.
Maternal Representations in Twenty-First Century Broadway Musicals: Stage Mothers analyzes Broadway productions within the context of their presentation and assessment of motherhood and the variety of roles for mother figures. Using a frame of feminist and psychoanalytical positions, Gina MacKenzie establishes, defines, and interprets mother figures in contemporary Broadway, according to original categorizations of the absent, inconsequential, and overbearing mothers. MacKenzie considers how and why commercial representation of mother figures are limited and predominantly negative, even as fiction, poetry, and other forms of drama offer a much wider and progressive view of the varieties of motherhood possible in society, asserting the need for greater representation of mother figures in commercial musical theatre today.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints adopted the vocal and theatrical traditions of American musical theater as important theological tenets. As Church membership grew, leaders saw how the genre could help define the faith and wove musical theater into many aspects of Mormon life. Jake Johnson merges the study of belonging in America with scholarship on voice and popular music to explore the surprising yet profound link between two quintessentially American institutions. Throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Mormons gravitated toward musicals as a common platform for transmitting political and theological ideas. Johnson sees Mormons using musical theater as a medium for theology of voice--a religious practice that suggests how vicariously voicing another person can bring one closer to godliness. This sounding, Johnson suggests, created new opportunities for living. Voice and the musical theater tradition provided a site for Mormons to negotiate their way into middle-class respectability. At the same time, musical theater became a unique expressive tool of Mormon culture.
Subverting assumptions that American musical theater is steeped in nostalgia, cheap sentiment, misogyny, and homophobia, this book shows how musicals of the 1950s and early 1960s celebrated strong women characters who defied the era's gender expectations.
From his early work as lyricist for West Side Story to acclaimed creations such as A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, and Sweeney Todd, Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as the most important figure in musical theater since the second half of the 20th century. Who better to discuss this prolific artist's work than the master himself? Sondheim on Music: Minor Details and Major Decisions is a collection of interviews conducted by Mark Eden Horowitz, senior music specialist in the music division of the Library of Congress.