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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 1990s–2000s: “I’m Beautiful and I’m Here”

The 1990s–2000s: “I’m Beautiful and I’m Here”

(p.161) Chapter 5 The 1990s–2000s: “I’m Beautiful and I’m Here”
Changed for Good

Stacy Wolf

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 discusses a group of musicals produced around 2000 that foreground race / ethnicity as well as gender: Parade, Caroline, or Change, The Color Purple, and In the Heights. By studying key conventional moments in each musical—the female protagonist’s first and last numbers—this chapter maps out the interdependence of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary Broadway musicals. By the 1990s and the millennium, with “multiculturalism,” “diversity,” and Third Wave feminism in the air, the slightly-behind-the-times Broadway musical stage made a concerted effort to represent people of color. A number of musicals opened in a variety of forms and formats and told stories that centrally featured women of color. These musicals used the tools that had been around since the 1950s—the opening declarative solo number and powerful 11 o’clock number—and affirmed African American, Latina, and Jewish women as self-determining, self-assertive individuals and Broadway’s stars.

Keywords:   race, ethnicity, parade, Caroline, or Change, The Color Purple, In the Heights, third wave feminism, jewish women, latina, African American women

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