courses > 2007 fall

Elective Courses

CINE 225 - American Musical Theatre

THAR 271 | ENGL 274
602 | W 4:30-7:30pm | FBH 16

The American musical is an unapologetically popular art form, but many of the works that come from this tradition have had major impact on the broader history of theatre and film – and on our general culture. From dramatic works like Show Boat and Porgy and Bess that addressed issues of race and class, to the Depression-era wish fulfillment of Top Hat; from the bitingly topical music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater to the sentimental optimism of Rodgers and Hammerstein – musicals and their creators have, quite literally, set a tone for America.
In this course, we will analyze films and filmed theatre works, as well music, lyrics, scripts and documentary production evidence in pursuit of an understanding of the musical in its many forms.
Our survey will include the works of prominent artists in the musical theatre from the early ‘20s to the present, including Jerome Kern, Florenz Ziegfeld, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, Jonathan Larson and others. This course does not require the ability to read music.