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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 1980s: “The Phantom of the Opera Is There Inside My Mind”

The 1980s: “The Phantom of the Opera Is There Inside My Mind”

(p.127) Chapter 4 The 1980s: “The Phantom of the Opera Is There Inside My Mind”
Changed for Good

Stacy Wolf

Oxford University Press

Musicals of the 1980s responded to a new global capitalism, supported by the economic and government policies of the Thatcher and Reagan’s regimes. “Megamusicals” radically shifted all aspects of production and reception, allowing many identical productions of one musical to play all over the world simultaneously, and changing the actor’s job, as she becomes a cog in the machinery or a prop in the mise-en-scène. Women’s shrinking positions in musical theatre corresponds to the backlash against feminism that took place during the 1980s in the U.S. Chapter 4 analyzes the female characters in the two biggest megamusicals of the decade, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera. This chapter argues that the elaborate sceneography of the megamusical diminishes women on the Broadway musical stage and focuses on women’s solo numbers in the shows.

Keywords:   1980s, megamusical, Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, mise-en-scene, sceneography, solo numbers, global capitalism

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