Our Musicals, Ourselves A Social History of the American Musical Theatre

ISBN-10: 0874519047
ISBN-13: 9780874519044
Edition: 2003
Authors: John Bush Jones
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Description: Our Musicals, Ourselves is the first full-scale social history of the American musical theater from the imported Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas of the late nineteenth century to such recent musicals as The Producers and Urinetown. While many  More...

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Book details

List price: $35.00
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 1/1/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 426
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.606
Language: English

Our Musicals, Ourselves is the first full-scale social history of the American musical theater from the imported Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas of the late nineteenth century to such recent musicals as The Producers and Urinetown. While many aficionados of the Broadway musical associate it with wonderful, diversionary shows like The Music Man or My Fair Lady, John Bush Jones instead selects musicals for their social relevance and the extent to which they engage, directly or metaphorically, contemporary politics and culture. Organized chronologically, with some liberties taken to keep together similarly themed musicals, Jones examines dozens of Broadway shows from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present that demonstrate numerous links between what played on Broadway and what played on newspapers' front pages across our nation. He reviews the productions, lyrics, staging, and casts from the lesser-known early musicals (the "gunboat" musicals of the Teddy Roosevelt era and the "Cinderella shows" and "leisure time musicals" of the 1920s) and continues his analysis with better-known shows including Showboat, Porgy and Bess, Oklahoma, South Pacific, West Side Story, Cabaret, Hair, Company, A Chorus Line, and many others. While most examinations of the American musical focus on specific shows or emphasize the development of the musical as an art form, Jones's book uses musicals as a way of illuminating broader social and cultural themes of the times. With six appendixes detailing the long-running diversionary musicals and a foreword by Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist of Fiddler on the Roof, Jones's comprehensive social history will appeal to both students and fans of Broadway.

Foreword
Acknowledgements
Introduction
Patriotism, Xenophobia, and World War I
The Musicals of the Roaring Twenties
Coping with Depression
World War II and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Years
From Isolationism to Idealism in the Cold War years
Black and Jewish Musicals since the 1960s
Issue-Driven Musicals of the Turbulent Years
Fragmented Society, Fragmented Musicals
"A Recycled Culture," Nostalgia and Spectacle
New Voices, New Perspectives
Appendices
Broadway Musical Production, 1919-1929
Long-Running Diversionary Musicals. 1929-1938
Long-Running Diversionary Musicals, 1939-1945
Long-Running Diversionary Musicals, 1946-1960
Long-Running Diversionary Musicals, 1960-1969
Long-Running Diversionary Musicals, 1969-1979
Long-Running Diversionary Musicals, 1979-2000
Sources Cited
Index

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