Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City

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9780199747481: Hard Times: The Adult Musical in 1970s New York City

In Hard Times, musical theater historian Elizabeth L. Wollman takes readers on a fascinating tour of the adult musical scene of New York City's rampant 1970s.

After the success of Hair in 1968, the low-budget adult musical proliferated. The most famous was the long-running "Oh! Calcutta!", but countless more made it to stage: "Stag Movie," "Let My People Come," "The Faggot," and others. Structured like old-fashioned revues, with thematically interconnected songs and skits, they received little respect from critics, who either condemned them for going too far in the direction of hard-core pornography, or for not being erotic enough. The public thought otherwise, flooding the theaters and pouring cash into box-office tills. Wollman shows that adult musicals represented far more than a silly fad from a silly decade: they reflected experimentation with newfound sexual freedom, not to mention the rise of the women's and gay liberation movements. She examines the impact of the Stonewall riots on gay musicals; how feminism was reflected on stage; and how "porno chic" and hard-core porn influenced performances. Even the most middlebrow efforts brought into focus the debate between art and obscenity, and angst over New York City's socioeconomic status. By the early 1980s, as the city's economy recovered and society grew conservative, these musicals disappeared-an indicator of a larger transformation.

Wollman reasserts the significance of this humble (if hardly modest) art form. Adult musicals, she shows, represented aspects of American culture at their messiest and most confused-and thus at their most honest.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :


Elizabeth L. Wollman is Associate Professor of Music at Baruch College in New York City, and author of The Theater Will Rock: A History of the Rock Musical, from Hair to Hedwig.

Review :


"A brilliantly insightful and nuanced account of a musical theatre subgenre known only by its reputation, Hard Times is paradigm-shifting. Whether or not you were in New York City in the 1970s, Wollman brings these shows to life, taking you on a fascinating, thoroughly engaging, and surprisingly funny and moving journey." --Stacy Wolf, author of Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical and Professor of Theater, Princeton University


"Wollman is a superb storyteller, weaving strands into so many other stories that you wonder how they ever made sense without hers. Like all good storytellers, she brings out the laughter and the pathos, with both in abundance. And she's a first-rate scholar-although, as befits her topic, she wears those robes lightly." --Raymond Knapp, Professor of Musicology, UCLA, author of The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity and The American Musical and the Performance of Personal Identity, and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of the American Musical


"A good read and well-researched. It was fun for me to see my show in the context of others. Let My People Come still plays and evolves." --Earl Wilson Jr., composer and lyricist


"Elizabeth Wollman has surveyed the field and put it all in perspective in Hard Times...Wollman's book boasts its own 'companion website' and the text of the book is replete with icons directing the reader to photos and audio clips giving her narrative additional color - visual and aural." --DC Theatre Scene


"[A] lovingly crafted, well-written volume...A scholarly work on an overlooked subject, and a delightful read for anyone already steeped in Broadway history." --Choice


Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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1.

Elizabeth L. Wollman
Edité par Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2012)
ISBN 10 : 0199747482 ISBN 13 : 9780199747481
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. One legacy of the 1960s sexual revolution was the adult musical of the 1970s. Adult musicals distinguished themselves from other types of musicals in their reliance on strong sexual content, frequent nudity, and simulated sexual activity. Cheap to produce, adult musicals proliferated in New York s theatres at a time when the city was teetering toward bankruptcy and tourism was sharply declining. Influenced by the overwhelming success in 1968 of Hair -the first Broadway musical to feature nudity-as well as by a series of legal rulings about the nature of obscenity, adult musicals became faddish in part because they allowed theatre producers to attract audiences at a time of economic crisis while simultaneously slashing budgets typically allotted for scenery, props and, of course, costumes. Typically structured like old-fashioned revues, with thematically interconnected songs and skits, adult musicals like Stag Movie, Let My People Come, The Faggot, and the long-running Oh! Calcutta! were reviled by theatre critics, who tended to dismiss them as either going too far in the direction of hard-core pornography or, conversely, of not being erotic enough.But critics, who could typically close a show with a single scathing review, were no match for the public appetite for sex and even the shows that got the worst reviews usually made money. Adult musicals disappeared almost entirely by the early 1980s, as the city s economy improved and the country grew more socio-politically conservative, and they have since been dismissed by writers and critics as a silly fad befitting a silly decade. Author Elizabeth Wollman finds a much richer story in adult musicals, illustrating how they both drew from and reflected aspects of American culture at a particularly tumultuous time: the country s rapidly changing sexual mores, the women s and gay liberation movements, New York City s socioeconomic status, and contemporary debates on the relationship between art and obscenity. She argues that because of their middlebrow appeal and their concentration in a city that experienced the 1970s in especially turbulent ways, adult musicals represent aspects of 1970s American culture at their messiest and most confused, and thus, perhaps, at their most honest. N° de réf. du libraire POW9780199747481

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Elizabeth L. Wollman
Edité par Oxford University Press Inc, United States (2012)
ISBN 10 : 0199747482 ISBN 13 : 9780199747481
Neuf(s) Couverture rigide Quantité : 10
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Description du livre Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. One legacy of the 1960s sexual revolution was the adult musical of the 1970s. Adult musicals distinguished themselves from other types of musicals in their reliance on strong sexual content, frequent nudity, and simulated sexual activity. Cheap to produce, adult musicals proliferated in New York s theatres at a time when the city was teetering toward bankruptcy and tourism was sharply declining. Influenced by the overwhelming success in 1968 of Hair -the first Broadway musical to feature nudity-as well as by a series of legal rulings about the nature of obscenity, adult musicals became faddish in part because they allowed theatre producers to attract audiences at a time of economic crisis while simultaneously slashing budgets typically allotted for scenery, props and, of course, costumes. Typically structured like old-fashioned revues, with thematically interconnected songs and skits, adult musicals like Stag Movie, Let My People Come, The Faggot, and the long-running Oh! Calcutta! were reviled by theatre critics, who tended to dismiss them as either going too far in the direction of hard-core pornography or, conversely, of not being erotic enough. But critics, who could typically close a show with a single scathing review, were no match for the public appetite for sex and even the shows that got the worst reviews usually made money. Adult musicals disappeared almost entirely by the early 1980s, as the city s economy improved and the country grew more socio-politically conservative, and they have since been dismissed by writers and critics as a silly fad befitting a silly decade. Author Elizabeth Wollman finds a much richer story in adult musicals, illustrating how they both drew from and reflected aspects of American culture at a particularly tumultuous time: the country s rapidly changing sexual mores, the women s and gay liberation movements, New York City s socioeconomic status, and contemporary debates on the relationship between art and obscenity. She argues that because of their middlebrow appeal and their concentration in a city that experienced the 1970s in especially turbulent ways, adult musicals represent aspects of 1970s American culture at their messiest and most confused, and thus, perhaps, at their most honest. N° de réf. du libraire POW9780199747481

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