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Changed for GoodA Feminist History of the Broadway Musical$
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Stacy Wolf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195378238

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195378238.001.0001

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The 1970s: “Everything Was Beautiful at the Ballet”

The 1970s: “Everything Was Beautiful at the Ballet”

(p.91) Chapter 3 The 1970s: “Everything Was Beautiful at the Ballet”
Changed for Good

Stacy Wolf

Oxford University Press

In the 1970s, many issues that were radical in the 1960s became a part of mainstream culture. In a decade during which Americans became more self-centered as well as more community-oriented, musicals of the 1970s reflected these two impulses. This chapter considers 1970s musicals structured around an ensemble: Company, Godspell, The Wiz, and A Chorus Line. Each of these musicals stretches the musical stylings of Broadway to include pop, folk, and rock music, and the typical heterosexual love story to focus on a non-biological family or community grouping, questioning whether or not “me generation” individualism trumps gender. This chapter focuses on the convention of the song and dance ensemble number. Female characters in musicals of the 1970s were part of an ensemble, but they also occupied key roles, defining the overall feeling and meaning of the show, which this chapter explores.

Keywords:   1970s, radical, community, ensemble, company, Godspell, The Wiz, A Chorus Line, individualism

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