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The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts$
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Mark Thornton Burnett and Adrian Streete

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748635238

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635238.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Shakespeare and Musical Theatre

Shakespeare and Musical Theatre

(p.185) 10 Shakespeare and Musical Theatre
The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts

Fran Teague

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter concentrates on one narrow branch of musical theatre — the Broadway musical. It addresses what a musical is and why musicals have an especial affinity for Shakespeare. It describes The Boys from Syracuse, Kiss Me, Kate and West Side Story. Yet these three do not stand alone: The Shakespeare Music Catalogue offers many other instances of generative Shakespeare texts and their musical theatre derivatives, and that catalogue is by no means complete. Shakespeare became a mainstay of American theatre in the twenty-five years leading up to the American Revolution, as an increased concern with England sparked interest in his plays. A musical that attends to Shakespeare is likely to attend to gender, class and race as well, but not in any solemn or profound way. The jokes are suggestive or vulgar, the music and dancing energetic and the principal barrier to success is too much respect for the original work.

Keywords:   Shakespeare, musical theatre, Broadway musical, The Boys from Syracuse, West Side Story, The Shakespeare Music Catalogue

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