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Beyond Lift Every Voice and Sing by Paula Marie Seniors's Beyond Lift Every Voice and Sing is an engaging and well-researched book that explores the realities of African American life and history as refracted through the musical theater productions of one of the most prolific black song-writing teams of the early twentieth century. James Weldon Johnson, J. Rosamond Johnson, and Bob Cole combined conservative and progressive ideas in a complex and historically specific strategy for overcoming racism and its effects. In Shoo Fly Regiment (1906-1908) and The Red Moon (1908-1910), theater, uplift, and politics collided as the team tried to communicate a politics of uplift, racial pride, gender equality, and interethnic coalitions. The overarching question of this study is how roles and representations in black musical theater both reflected and challenged the dominant social order. While some scholars dismiss the team as conformists, Seniors's contention is that they used the very tools of hegemony to make progressive political statements and to create a distinctly black theater informed by black politics, history, and culture. These men were writers, musicians, actors, and vaudevillians who strove to change the perception of African Americans on stage from one of minstrelsy buffoonery to one of dignity and professionalism.
Publication Date: 2009-07-15
The Great White Way by 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). Musicals mirror their time periods and reflect the political and social issues of their day. Warren Hoffman investigates the thematic content of the Broadway musical and considers how musicals work on a structural level, allowing them to simultaneously present and hide their racial agendas in plain view of their audiences. While the musical is informed by the cultural contributions of African Americans and Jewish immigrants, Hoffman argues that ultimately the history of the American musical is the history of white identity in the United States. Presented chronologically, The Great White Way shows how perceptions of race altered over time and how musicals dealt with those changes. Hoffman focuses first on shows leading up to and comprising the Golden Age of Broadway (1927-1960s), then turns his attention to the revivals and nostalgic vehicles that defined the final quarter of the twentieth century. He offers entirely new and surprising takes on shows from the American musical canon--Show Boat (1927), Oklahoma! (1943), Annie Get YourGun (1946), The Music Man (1957), West Side Story (1957), A Chorus Line (1975), and 42nd Street (1980), among others. New archival research on the creators who produced and wrote these shows, including Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Stephen Sondheim, and Edward Kleban, will have theater fans and scholars rethinking forever how they view this popular American entertainment.
Publication Date: 2014-02-18
Nothing Like a Dame by In Nothing Like a Dame, theater journalist Eddie Shapiro opens a jewelry box full of glittering surprises, through in-depth conversations with twenty leading women of Broadway. He carefully selected Tony Award-winning stars who have spent the majority of their careers in theater, leaving aside those who have moved on or occasionally drop back in. The women he interviewed spent endless hours with him, discussing their careers, offering insights into the iconic shows, changes on Broadway over the last century, and the art (and thrill) of taking the stage night after night. Chita Rivera describes the experience of starring in musicals in each of the last seven decades; Audra McDonald gives her thoughts on the work that went into the five Tony Awards she won before turning forty-one; and Carol Channing reflects on how she has revisited the same starring role generation after generation, and its effects on her career. Here too is Sutton Foster, who contemplates her breakout success in an age when stars working predominately in theater are increasingly rare. Each of these conversations is guided by Shapiro's expert knowledge of these women's careers, Broadway lore, and the details of famous (and infamous) musicals. He also includes dozens of photographs of these players in their best-known roles.This fascinating collection reveals the artistic genius and human experience of the women who have made Broadway musicals more popular than ever-a must for anyone who loves the theater.
Publication Date: 2014-01-01
Journals and Periodicals
Includes articles, commentary, and theatre reviews on all aspects of national theatre
New Theatre Quarterly
An international forum where theatrical scholarship and practice meet, and where prevailing dramatic assumptions are subjected to vigorous critical questioning.
Theatre Journal's scholarly articles and reviews has earned it an international reputation as one of the most authoritative and useful publications of theatre studies available today. Drawing contributions from noted practitioners and scholars, it features social and historical studies, production reviews, and theoretical inquiries that analyze dramatic texts and production.
Scores and Archive material