American Musicals in Context: From the American Revolution to the 21st Century gives students a fresh look at history-based musicals, helping readers to understand the American story through one of the country's most celebrated art forms: the musical.
With the hit musical Hamilton (2015) captivating audiences and reshaping the way early American history is taught and written about, this book offers insight into an array of musicals that explore American history. The work provides the synopsis, critical and audience reception, and historical context and analysis for each of 20 musicals selected for the unique and illuminating way they present America's story on the stage.
Specifically, this volume explores musicals that have centered their themes, characters, and plots on some aspect of America's complex and ever-changing history. Each in its own way helps us rediscover and discover anew pivotal national crises, key political decisions, defining moral choices, unspeakable and unresolved injustices, important and untold stories, defeats suffered, victories won in the face of monumental adversity, and the sacrifices borne publicly and privately in the process of creating America's narrative, one American story at a time. High school and college readers will come away from the volume armed with the critical thinking skills necessary to discern fact from fiction in American history.
- Capitalizes on historic interest in the musical Hamilton
- Represents major periods in American history through musicals
- Unlike other books on the history of musical theatre, explores American history through musical form