The American Musical and the Performance of Personal Identity

The American Musical and the Performance of Personal Identity

by Raymond Knapp
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691125244

ISBN-13: 9780691125244

Pub. Date: 09/05/2006

Publisher: Princeton University Press

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

Overview

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 are Camelot, 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; and The 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691125244
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/05/2006
Pages:
488
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures ix
Explanatory Note about Audio Examples xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Entr'acte 1

Part One: PERSONAL GENRES 15

Chapter 1: The Viennese Connection: Franz Lehárand American Operetta 17
The Merry Widow (1907) 20
Naughty Marietta (1910) 31
Little Mary Sunshine (1959) 40
A Little Night Music (1973) 50

Chapter 2: The Movie Musical 65
Singin’ in the Rain (film, 1952) 70
Stormy Weather (film, 1943) and Bamboozled (film, 2000) 79
Meet Me in St. Louis (film, 1944) 94
Moulin Rouge (film, 2001) and Chicago (film, 2002) 102

Part Two: PERSONAL THEMES 119

Chapter 3: Fairy Tales and Fantasy 121
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (animated film, 1937) 125
The Wizard of Oz (film, 1939) 131
Mary Poppins (film, 1964) 141
Into the Woods (1987) 150

Chapter 4: Idealism and Inspiration 164
Camelot (1960) 170
Man of La Mancha (1965) 180
The Scarlet Pimpernel (1997) 189
Once More, with Feeling (television, 2001) 196

Chapter 5: Gender and Sexuality 205
Annie Get Your Gun (1946) 209
Gypsy (1959) 215
Sweet Charity (1966) 228
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (film, 1975) 240
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (1998; film, 2001) 252

Chapter 6: Relationships 264
Lady in the Dark (1941) 266
Kiss Me, Kate (1948) 273
My Fair Lady (1956) 284
Company (1970) 293
Passion (1994) 303
Epilogue 311

Chapter 7: Operatic Ambitions and Beyond 313
Candide (1956) 317
Sweeney Todd (1979) 331
Evita (1979) 342

Appendix: Additional Resources 357
Notes 377
Bibliography 433
Index 449

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