Issues of identity have always been central to the American musical in all its guises. Who appears in musicals, who or what they are meant to represent, and how, over time, those representations have been understood and interpreted, provide the very basis for our engagement with the genre. In this third volume of the reissued Oxford Handbook of the American Musical, chapters focus on race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, regional vs. national identity, and the cultural and class significance of the musical itself. As important as the question of who appears in musicals are the questions of who watches and listens to them, and of how specific cultures of reception attend differently to the musical. Chapters thus address cultural codes inherent to the genre, in particular those found in traditional school theater programs.
About the Author
Raymond Knapp is Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mitchell Morris is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Stacy Wolf is Professor in the Program in Theater and Director of the Princeton Atelier in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Stacy Wolf
Part I. Identities
1. Race, Ethnicity, Performance
2. Gender and Sexuality
3. The Politics of Region and Nation in American Musicals
Chase A. Bringardner
4. Class and Culture
Part II. Audiences
5. Box Office
6. Audiences and Critics
7. Stars and Fans
8. Knowing Your Audience
9. Performance, Authenticity, and the Reflexive Idealism of the American Musical