The Musical: Race, Gender, and Performance (Short Cuts)

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9781904764373: The Musical: Race, Gender, and Performance (Short Cuts)
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This study explores one of the most popular and successful of genres, yet one that has not fully enjoyed critical recognition to match. Combining a detailed analysis of individual musicals with an in-depth consideration of racial and gender issues, Susan Smith examines the rich interactions that occur between music, performance and narrrative, as well as the use of the female voice and the female singer in certain 'Pygmalion'/'Svengali'-style narratives. Films studied include Show Boat (1936, 1951), Cabin in the Sky (1943), Singin' in the Rain (1952), A Star Is Born (1954), West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964) and Funny Girl (1968).

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Examining not only the structure and style of the musical, Susan Smith also addresses the relationship between narrative and musical numbers. The text also addresses the way in which image and soundtrack are connected, the possibility of dance and music as language and the role and representation of women and ethnic characters. Films studied include Top Hat (1935), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Cabin in the Sky (1943), An American in Paris (1951), West Side Story (1961) Dancer in the Dark (2000), and Moulin Rouge (2001).

About the Author:

Susan Smith is senior lecturer in film studies at the University of Sunderland.

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