Approaches to the American Musical

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University of Exeter Press, 1996 - Music - 167 pages
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Most books on the American musical are little more than exercises in nostalgia. The specially commissioned essays that make up Approaches to the American Musical take a different view of the form. Going beyond the common assertion that musicals are simply escapist; these examinations of American stage and film musicals argue that Porgy and Bess, Top Hat, Kiss Me Kate and All That Jazz were popular precisely because they engaged with such important American issues as ethnicity, commerce and international relations.






 

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Contents

Europe America
19
A Selective History
44
Scandinavian Immigrant
55
Negotiating Censorship
72
The Case of Kiss me Kate
89
Who Loves You Porgy? The Debates Surrounding
109
West Side Story Revisited Wilfrid Mellers
127
Sondheim and the Art That Has No Name
137
Index
161
Copyright

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About the author (1996)


Robert Lawson-Peebles is Senior Lecturer in the School of English and American Studies, University of Exeter. His research field is transatlantic cultural relations, from pre-Columbian times until the present. He has published three books including American environmental history: a monograph, Landscape and Written Expression in Revolutionary America (1988), and two collections of original essays co-edited with Professor Mick Gidley (now of Leeds University), Downloads of American Landscapes (1989) and Modern American Landscapes (1995). He has also published essays on, amongst others, George Washington, Susannah Rowson, James Fenimore Cooper, Henry George, and William Carlos Williams. His interests include American performance arts, and he has published an introductory essay on the subject, an article on the impact of the Second World War on Hollywood versions of English novels, and an edited collection of original essays, Approaches to the American Musical (1996). He is currently working on an account of the impact of American culture on Britain between 1900 and 1968.


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