Review by Library Journal Review
In this close examination of the 20-century American musical, Jones (theater arts, retired, Brandeis Univ.) looks beyond the entertainment factor to present musicals "as theatrical vehicles that intended to transform, not just report, the tenor of the times." To that end, he has restricted his selection "to musicals that seem to have been consciously intended to have contemporary social relevance"-thus including West Side Story but not My Fair Lady. The result is a work that while not comprehensive-for that, look to Gerald Bordman's American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle-is rich in social history not found anywhere else. From the patriotism and xenophobia of the late 1890s, to the influences of Rogers and Hammerstein, to the "technomusicals" and "theme-park mentality" spectacles of the 1980s and 1990s and today's new voices, Jones presents American society as mirrored by the musical stage. Whether discovering a new show or exploring one you thought you knew well, you are sure to find Jones's insight both informative and thought-provoking. Highly recommended for all theater arts collections.-Laura Anne Ewald, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.