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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Musical Theatre

He/She/They Could Have Danced All Night

Established and emerging musical theater scholars wrestle with the complexities of the gendered and sexualized musical theater form.

Critics and fans alike often mistake theatrical song and dance as simplistic, heteronormative, and traditional. This collection troubles this over-idealized notion of musical theatre, tackling divas, chorus boys, and the Rockettes; hit shows such as Hamilton and Spring Awakening; and lesser-known but groundbreaking gems like Erin Markey’s A Ride on The Irish Cream and Kirsten Childs’s Bella: An American Tall Tale.

The book takes a broad look at musical theater across a range of intersecting lenses including race, nation, form, dance, casting, marketing, pedagogy, industry, stardom, politics, and platform. Undermining the musical form’s conservative façade, scholars drive home the fact that gender and desire have long been at the heart of the musical. This exciting and vibrant collection of articles takes sex, sexuality, gendered complexity out of the musical’s liner notes and back above the marquee.

350 pages | 10 halftones | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2

Art: Art--General Studies

Gender and Sexuality


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Table of Contents

Introduction: Belting Away at Binaries

Part One: Exploring and Exploding the Gender Binary on the Musical Stage:
1.Adrienne Gibbons Oehlers: The Radio City Rockettes and the Making of a Sisterhood
2.George Rodosthenous: Billy Elliot: The Musical: Visual Representations of Working-Class Masculinity and the All-Singing, All-Dancing Bo[d]y
3.Stacy Wolf: Hamilton’s Women
4.Jordan Ealey: Rewriting the American West: Black Feminist (Re)vision in Bella: An American Tall Tale
5.Janet Werther: A-List Drag Queens, Accidental Drag Kings, and Illegible Gender Rebels: (Mis)Representations of Trans Experience in Contemporary Musicals

Part Two: Embodying and Exploiting Sex and Sexuality On and Off Broadway:
6.David Haldane Lawrence: Chorus Boys: Words, Music and Queerness (c.1900-c.1936)
7.Elizabeth L. Wollman: Emancipation or Exploitation? Gender Liberation and Adult Musicals in 1970s New York
8.Bryan Vandevender: A Substitute for Love: The Performance of Sex in Spring Awakening
9.Ryan Donovan: If You Were Gay, That’d Be Okay: Marketing LGBTQ Musicals from La Cage to The Prom

Part Three: The Divas Break Everybody’s Rules:
10.Michele Dvoskin: Embracing Excess: The Queer Feminist Power of Musical Theatre Diva Roles
11.Dustyn Martinich: Stepping Out of Line: (Re)claiming the Diva for the Dancers of Broadway
12.Deborah Paredez: Diva Relations in The Color Purple, the 2015 Broadway Revival
13.Kelly Kessler: How Can the Small Screen Contain Her? Television, Genre and the Twenty-First-Century Broadway Diva Onslaught

Part Four: Onstage, Offstage, and Online: Gender and Sexuality in Personal and Professional Musical Practice:
14.Alejandro Postigo: The Queerness of Copla: Musical Hope for the Spanish LGBTQ
15.Sherrill Gow: Queering Brechtian Feminism: Breaking Down Gender Binaries in Musical Theatre Pedagogical Performance Practices
16.Stephanie Lim: For Progress or Profit: The Possibilities and Limitations of Playing with Gender in 21st Century Musical Theatre
17.Jiyoon Jung: The Right to See and Not Be Seen: South Korean Musicals and Young Feminist Activism

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