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Staging the Canon: British Directors and Classic American Musicals

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History book series (PSTPH)

Abstract

The new approach to the musical canon discussed in chapter seven has wrought a significant change in how we think about the classics. In this chapter, I look specifically at the way in which five British-directed productions have helped to redefine our relationship with classic musicals: Nicholas Hytner’s Carousel, Trevor Nunn’s Oklahoma!, Sam Mendes’s Cabaret, Matthew Warchus’s Follies, and David Leveaux’s Nine. All five productions originated in London or New York and they all played on Broadway between 1993 and 2004. It is not my contention that these were the first or the only attempts to look at classic musicals through fresh eyes. But the high profile of these productions and the critical interest that they have stimulated has helped to normalize a more interpretive approach to the musical canon. Most importantly in terms of this book, they have intensified the connections between mainstream musical theatre and drama by emphasizing new dramaturgical and thematic approaches to the material and, crucially, physical staging inspired by the text rather than the original production.

Keywords

Domestic Violence Original Production Classic Musical Social Commentary Musical Theatre 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© Miranda Lundskaer-Nielsen 2008

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