Provides critical overviews of the most-studied plays of all time periods, nations, and cultures. Includes discussions of themes, characters, critical reception, dramatic devices and traditions as well as cultural and historical context.
Written especially for students and theatergoers, it offers a guide to the history and development of the musical in England and America, and worldwide. Starting with the early history of the musical, the volume examines the latest works and innovations, and includes information on the singers, audience and critical reception, and traditions.
DeMastes (Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge) and The author(Univ. of Kansas) have assembled a collection of essays intended to answer this question: "Precisely what is, has been, or should be, the purpose of American drama and its relationship to the political and cultural life of America?"
The author (theater, Univ. of Michigan; associate, National Theatre of Great Britain) edits this scholarly work by 16 specialists who "have chosen what seems most vital in their various parts of the past and have tried to share their sense of its importance and pleasures."
Beginning with the scandalous Astor Place Opera House riot of 1849, Larry Stempel traces the growth of musicals from minstrel shows and burlesques, through the golden age of Show Boat and Oklahoma! , to such groundbreaking works as Company and Rent.