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Music and the Broadcast ExperiencePerformance, Production, and Audiences$
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Christina Baade and James A. Deaville

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199314706

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199314706.001.0001

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Musical Theater Meets Reality TV

Musical Theater Meets Reality TV

An Investigation into the Canadian Context1

(p.129) Chapter 5 Musical Theater Meets Reality TV
Music and the Broadcast Experience

Christine Quail

Oxford University Press

Combining elements of artistic performance with contest-based tasks and documentary-style narratives about the contestants, musical theater reality TV (MTRTV) features musical theater–based television programs dedicated to casting musical theater shows. This chapter uses a cultural approach to genre to interrogate how MTRTV works through and against systems of cultural power and politics, as well as how the genre functions at discursive and political-economic levels, including labor. The analysis focuses on two MTRTV programs that aired in Canada on the CBC: How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria and Over the Rainbow, both of which involved casting the leads for Toronto productions of live musicals—The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz, respectively. This chapter analyzes the adapted television formats, linking local and global television systems, and considers how this production technique impacts the theater.

Keywords:   Canada, format, genre, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, labor, musical theater, Over the Rainbow, reality TV, television

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