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Hard times : the adult musical in 1970s New York City /

Main Author: Wollman, Elizabeth L., 1969-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Oxford University Press, 2013
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Review by Choice Review

How can a book with this title not grab readers' attention? This lovingly crafted, well-written volume looks at a tiny subgenre of theater that existed very briefly, the "adult" musical. Wollman (Baruch College) admits to having a wonderful time researching her topic, and manages to balance readers' slightly prurient interests with some solid historical perspective--she not only catalogues many obscure musicals, but dives into the cultural, political, and financial reasons behind such creations. With an examination of vaudeville/burlesque underpinnings, the rise of gay rights, the second wave of feminism, and obscenity laws, Wollman walks through a very logical process of circumstances needed to create the "adult" musical of the 1970s. The book is arranged chronologically, so students needing to quickly access specific information should have no problems. In addition, the text is supplemented by an online site that houses production photos and snippets of cast recordings--many of which are very rough in quality, but invaluable to the theater historian. This is a scholarly work on an overlooked subject, and a delightful read for anyone already steeped in Broadway history. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty. E. C. Skiles Lone Star College-Kingwood

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.