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literature

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Musical Theater  
 
page: 1  2  3  4  

Conclusion

At its best, the Broadway musical is the antithesis of puritanism and oppression. Its celebration of play may well account for its significance to many gay men. From its early days, through its closeted but coded works such as Mame, to the recent triumphs of La Cage aux Folles, Falsettos, and Kiss of the Spider Woman, the Broadway musical has celebrated performance and play, two areas that at least one part of the gay community prizes.

Thomas Dukes

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literature >> Overview:  Camp

Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.

literature >> Overview:  Contemporary Drama

Since Stonewall, gay and lesbian drama has flourished, especially in the United States.

arts >> Overview:  Divas

The diva has traditionally played a significant role in both gay and lesbian culture as an object of cult worship with whom those who suffer the heartaches of forbidden love and ostracism from an unaccepting society find solace and identification.

literature >> Overview:  Modern Drama

Before Stonewall, censorship of the theater caused authors to encode homosexual content in publicly-presented plays.

arts >> Overview:  Musical Theater and Film

The musical has been a significant aspect of American gay male culture, manifesting itself both in diva worship and, more recently, in the presentation of openly gay characters and shows written by gay writers primarily for gay audiences.

arts >> Overview:  Opera

Opera, an eclectic synthesis of voice, drama, music, costume, visual arts and spectacle, has played an integral role in queer culture since its development in seventeenth century Venice.

arts >> Ashman, Howard

Award-winning lyricist and playwright Howard Ashman collaborated with Alan Menken on projects as diverse as the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors and the animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast.

arts >> Barclay, Paris 

Award-winning television director Paris Barclay is also an activist for glbtq rights, including marriage equality and the opportunity to adopt children as he and his husband have done.

arts >> Batt, Bryan

Actor and designer Bryan Batt achieved fame playing a closeted advertising executive on television, but in his own life he has been active in affirming the naturalness of homosexuality.

arts >> Bernstein, Leonard

For most of his life, the specter of the closet lurked threateningly behind the glamorous and often brash public image of American composer Leonard Bernstein.

arts >> Bourne, Matthew

Perhaps the most acclaimed British choreographer working today, Matthew Bourne is best known for his homoerotic updatings and deconstructions of classic ballets.

arts >> Coward, Sir Noël

Accomplished playwright, actor, composer, and lyricist, Sir Noël Coward was also a singer and cabaret performer; he dominated the British stage between the world wars, then reoriented his career in the direction of America.

arts >> Finn, William

Playwright and composer William Finn, best known for his Tony Award-winning musical The Falsettos, speaks with understanding about confronting life in all its complexity with sadness and joy, dilemmas and hope intermingled.

arts >> Gately, Stephen

Singer, songwriter, and actor Stephen Gately gained fame as one of the lead vocalists in the Irish pop group Boyzone.

arts >> Hart, Lorenz

Despite having written lyrics as witty as any sung on the Broadway stage before or since, Lorenz Hart is best remembered for his songs of unfulfilled desire and failed romance.

arts >> Herman, Jerry

A proponent of the "diva musical," Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman made homosexuality the undisguised subject of La Cage aux Folles but he did so just as gay culture lost its need of a diva to voice its concerns.

arts >> Higgins, Colin 

Australian-American writer, director, and producer Colin Higgins is best known for his screenplay of the cult classic "Harold and Maude" and for directing the more mainstream comedies "Foul Play" and "9 to 5."

arts >> Innaurato, Albert

Playwright Albert Innaurato's plays are as remarkable for the marginalizing ethnic identity, sexual orientation, and body image of their characters as they are for the author's refusal to adopt politically correct attitudes.

literature >> Isherwood, Christopher

A major Anglo-American novelist and a pioneer in the gay liberation movement, Christopher Isherwood created gay characters whose homosexuality is a simple given, an integral part of the wholeness of personality and an emblem of their common humanity.

arts >> Kander, John (b. 1927) and Fred Ebb (1932?-2004)

Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are the musical poets of the poymorphous perverse; their works glorify the creativity inherent in sexual ambivalence and celebrate unorthodox forms of political activism.

arts >> Kert, Larry

Gay actor and singer Larry Kert introduced some of the most memorable songs in American musical theater.

literature >> Kirkwood, James

Co-author of the book of the celebrated musical A Chorus Line, James Kirkwood also wrote five popular novels and two nonfiction books.

arts >> Leisen, Mitchell

A noted director of Hollywood's Golden Age, Mitchell Leisen is credited with more than 40 feature films, which are celebrated for their stylishness and visual elegance.

arts >> Mantello, Joe

Having staged a variety of well-received and award-winning productions, actor-turned-director Joe Mantello has emerged as one of the most accomplished artists now working in the American theater.

arts >> Porter, Cole

Living the paradoxical life of an openly closeted gay man, songwriter Cole Porter introduced non-normative values and risqué double entendres into what was one of the most pedestrian and hackneyed of cultural forms.

literature >> Puig, Manuel

Homosexual themes and motifs are suggested in a number of Manuel Puig's eight novels, and in the best known of them, Kiss of the Spider Woman, homosexual desire is central to the fiction.

literature >> Sherman, Martin

Best known for his groundbreaking play Bent, iconoclastic playwright and screenwriter Martin Sherman has created an impressive body of work.

arts >> Sondheim, Stephen

One of the most innovative talents of the musical theater in the second half of the twentieth century, Stephen Sondheim has only indirectly reflected his homosexuality in his work.

arts >> Wheeldon, Christopher

Christopher Wheeldon is one of the most innovative and acclaimed classical ballet choreographers working in the dance world today.

literature >> Wright, Doug

The works of award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and librettist Doug Wright often focus on the unconventional lives of society\'s outsiders.


    Bibliography
   

Clum, John. Something for the Boys: Musical Theater and Gay Culture. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999.

Goldman, William. The Season. New York: Harcourt, l969.

Gottfried, Martin. All That Jazz: The Life and Death of Bob Fosse. New York: New York: Bantam, 1990.

Laufe, Abe. Broadway's Greatest Musicals. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1973.

Mates, Julian. America's Musical Stage: Two Hundred Years of Musical Theatre. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1985.

Suskin, Steven. Opening Night on Broadway: A Critical Quotebook of the Golden Era of the Musical Theater. New York: Schirmer, 1990.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Dukes, Thomas  
    Entry Title: Musical Theater  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated September 16, 2005  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/literature/musical_theater.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  
 

 

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