A Problem like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical (Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Theater/Drama/Performance)

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9780472097722: A Problem like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical (Triangulations: Lesbian/Gay/Queer Theater/Drama/Performance)

Subverting assumptions that American musical theater is steeped in nostalgia, cheap sentiment, misogyny, and homophobia, this book shows how musicals of the 1950s and early 1960s celebrated strong women characters who defied the era's gender expectations. A Problem Like Maria reexamines the roles, careers, and performances of four of musical theater's greatest stars-Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, and Barbra Streisand-through a lesbian feminist lens. Focusing on both star persona and performance, Stacy Wolf argues that each of her subjects deftly crafted characters (both on and offstage) whose defiance of the norms of mid-twentiethcentury femininity had immediate appeal to spectators on the ideological and sexual margins, yet could still play in Peoria.
Chapter by chapter, the book analyzes the stars' best-known and best-loved roles, including Martin as Nellie in South Pacific, Merman as Momma Rose in GypsyAndrews as Eliza in My Fair Lady and Guinevere in Camelot, and Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. The final chapter scrutinizes the Broadway and film versions of The Sound of Music, illuminating its place in the hearts of lesbian spectators and the "delicious queerness" of Andrews's troublesome nun. As the first feminist and lesbian study of the American Broadway musical, A Problem Like Maria is a groundbreaking contribution to feminist studies, queer studies, and American studies and a delight for fans of musical theater.
Stacy Wolf is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, University of Texas, Austin.

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American musical theater has long been considered integral to gay male culture, but what does it have to offer lesbian viewers? Plenty, argues Wolf, an English professor at the University of Texas at Austin and a self-confessed "feminist musical theater fan." While many people generally think of 1950s musicals as having a conservative slant and upholding conventional social norms, Wolf argues that the myriad "funny girls" of the '50s and '60s specifically Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, Mary Martin and Barbra Streisand repeatedly appeared in roles that explicitly critiqued postwar gender norms. Wolf frequently insists she's not concerned with figuring out the actual sexual orientation of these actresses (though she often pauses to do so, decoding the Hollywood gossip surrounding Martin's marriage to gay actor Richard Halliday with obvious glee). Nor does she argue that they actually "played" lesbians on stage or in film. Rather, she's interested in using the tools of feminist and queer theory to examine the women's performances and public images. Her analysis of Martin's "tomboy" star persona (particularly as it is presented in South Pacific and Peter Pan) is shrewd, as is her discussion of Streisand's unconventional beauty and her explicit Jewishness. Unfortunately, Wolf only briefly considers why the genre of the musical itself might lend itself to such interpretive practice, and some readers may wish for a more general analysis of musical theater rather than such close attention to the minute details of these four individuals' performance histories.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 161 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Subverting assumptions that American musical theater is steeped in nostalgia, cheap sentiment, misogyny, and homophobia, this book shows how musicals of the 1950s and early 1960s celebrated strong women characters who defied the era s gender expectations. A Problem Like Maria reexamines the roles, careers, and performances of four of musical theater s greatest stars-Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, and Barbra Streisand-through a lesbian feminist lens. Focusing on both star persona and performance, Stacy Wolf argues that each of her subjects deftly crafted characters (both on and offstage) whose defiance of the norms of mid-twentiethcentury femininity had immediate appeal to spectators on the ideological and sexual margins, yet could still play in Peoria.Chapter by chapter, the book analyzes the stars best-known and best-loved roles, including Martin as Nellie in South Pacific, Merman as Momma Rose in GypsyAndrews as Eliza in My Fair Lady and Guinevere in Camelot, and Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. The final chapter scrutinizes the Broadway and film versions of The Sound of Music, illuminating its place in the hearts of lesbian spectators and the delicious queerness of Andrews s troublesome nun. As the first feminist and lesbian study of the American Broadway musical, A Problem Like Maria is a groundbreaking contribution to feminist studies, queer studies, and American studies and a delight for fans of musical theater.Stacy Wolf is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, University of Texas, Austin. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780472097722

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Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 161 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Subverting assumptions that American musical theater is steeped in nostalgia, cheap sentiment, misogyny, and homophobia, this book shows how musicals of the 1950s and early 1960s celebrated strong women characters who defied the era s gender expectations. A Problem Like Maria reexamines the roles, careers, and performances of four of musical theater s greatest stars-Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, and Barbra Streisand-through a lesbian feminist lens. Focusing on both star persona and performance, Stacy Wolf argues that each of her subjects deftly crafted characters (both on and offstage) whose defiance of the norms of mid-twentiethcentury femininity had immediate appeal to spectators on the ideological and sexual margins, yet could still play in Peoria.Chapter by chapter, the book analyzes the stars best-known and best-loved roles, including Martin as Nellie in South Pacific, Merman as Momma Rose in GypsyAndrews as Eliza in My Fair Lady and Guinevere in Camelot, and Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. The final chapter scrutinizes the Broadway and film versions of The Sound of Music, illuminating its place in the hearts of lesbian spectators and the delicious queerness of Andrews s troublesome nun. As the first feminist and lesbian study of the American Broadway musical, A Problem Like Maria is a groundbreaking contribution to feminist studies, queer studies, and American studies and a delight for fans of musical theater.Stacy Wolf is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, University of Texas, Austin. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780472097722

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Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2002. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 234 x 161 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Subverting assumptions that American musical theater is steeped in nostalgia, cheap sentiment, misogyny, and homophobia, this book shows how musicals of the 1950s and early 1960s celebrated strong women characters who defied the era s gender expectations. A Problem Like Maria reexamines the roles, careers, and performances of four of musical theater s greatest stars-Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, and Barbra Streisand-through a lesbian feminist lens. Focusing on both star persona and performance, Stacy Wolf argues that each of her subjects deftly crafted characters (both on and offstage) whose defiance of the norms of mid-twentiethcentury femininity had immediate appeal to spectators on the ideological and sexual margins, yet could still play in Peoria.Chapter by chapter, the book analyzes the stars best-known and best-loved roles, including Martin as Nellie in South Pacific, Merman as Momma Rose in GypsyAndrews as Eliza in My Fair Lady and Guinevere in Camelot, and Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. The final chapter scrutinizes the Broadway and film versions of The Sound of Music, illuminating its place in the hearts of lesbian spectators and the delicious queerness of Andrews s troublesome nun. As the first feminist and lesbian study of the American Broadway musical, A Problem Like Maria is a groundbreaking contribution to feminist studies, queer studies, and American studies and a delight for fans of musical theater.Stacy Wolf is Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance, University of Texas, Austin. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780472097722

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Book Description 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 162mm x 31mm x 234mm. Hardcover. Subverting assumptions that American musical theater is steeped in nostalgia, cheap sentiment, misogyny, and homophobia, this book shows how musicals of the 1950s and early 19.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 312 pages. 0.630. Bookseller Inventory # 9780472097722

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