From Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls" to Nina in "In the Heights" and Elphaba in "Wicked," female characters in Broadway musicals have belted and crooned their way into the American psyche. In this lively book, Stacy Wolf illuminates the women of American musical theatre - performers, creators, and characters from the start of the cold war to the present day, creating a new, feminist history of the genre. Moving from decade to decade, Wolf first highlights the assumptions that circulated about gender and sexuality at the time. She then looks at the leading musicals to stress the key aspects of the plays as they relate to women, and often finds overlooked moments of empowerment for female audience members. The musicals discussed here are among the most beloved in the canon"West Side Story," "Cabaret," "A Chorus Line," "Phantom of the Opera," and many otherswith special emphasis on the blockbuster "Wicked." Along the way, Wolf demonstrates how the musical since the mid-1940s has actually been dominated by womenwomen onstage, women in the wings, and women offstage as spectators and fans.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Stacy Wolf is Professor of Theater and Director of the Princeton Atelier, Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Gender, Genre, and Musical Theatre
Chapter One: 1950s Musicals and Queer Female Duets
Chapter Two: The Single Woman and the Active Female Body in 1960s Musicals
Chapter Three: The Ensemble as Queer "Family"
Chapter Four: Women in the 1980s Megamusicals, Humming the Scenery
Chapter Five: Musicals in the 1990s-2000s: Female Protagonists, First and Last Numbers, and the Intersectional Performance of Race and Gender
Chapter Six: Queer Conventions in the Broadway Musical Wicked
Epilogue: Wicked Divas, Musical Theatre, and Internet Girl Fans
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great brook that's totally accessible to musical fans of all stripes. It's incredibly comprehensive in its reach, detailing a fantastic list of musicals from the forties to the present in terms of their representations of female characters and the complicated, fascinating politics of gender and sexuality in performance. My favorite chapter is on the single female characters in sixties musicals (Sweet Charity, Oliver, Cabaret, etc.) and how the characters'/actors' movement and dancing allows them to overcome and/or resist narratives that aren't so hopeful about living life as a single woman.