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West Side story : cultural perspectives on an American musical

Author: Elizabeth Anne Wells
Publisher: Lanham, Maryland : Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical, Wells presents a major scholarly study of the famous American musical West Side Story, viewing the work from cultural, historical, and musical perspectives. From the "mambo craze" of the 1950s to the work's ongoing permeation of popular culture, Wells looks at the myriad ways in which this canonic musical reflects and refracts American culture.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Leonard Bernstein; Leonard Bernstein; Leonard Bernstein; Leonard Bernstein
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Elizabeth Anne Wells
ISBN: 9780810876668 0810876663
OCLC Number: 631235463
Awards: Winner of ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award 2012.
Description: xiii, 312 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: "There's a place for us" : reflections on an American musical --
From Gangway! to Broadway : genesis of the musical --
"Music about music" : Bernstein and West Side story --
"Mambo!" : West Side story and the Hispanic --
"I and Velma ain't dumb" : the women of West Side story --
"A boy like that" : the gangs of West Side story --
From the West Side to the East Side : reception and revision --
"Finale" --
Appendix A: Lyrics to select songs --
Appendix B: Chronology --
Appendix C: Cast and crew of various productions, including award nominations and wins --
Appendix D: Discography of complete show recordings.
Responsibility: Elizabeth A. Wells.

Abstract:

In West Side Story: Cultural Perspectives on an American Musical, Wells presents a major scholarly study of the famous American musical West Side Story, viewing the work from cultural, historical, and musical perspectives. From the "mambo craze" of the 1950s to the work's ongoing permeation of popular culture, Wells looks at the myriad ways in which this canonic musical reflects and refracts American culture. Drawing on primary documentary sources, oral history--including interviews with members of the original creative team such as Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents--and early sketch material, Wells explores the creation and dissemination of West Side Story to diverse audiences. After a short history of West Side Story's creation, each chapter investigates the musical from a different cultural perspective, examining its relationship to the classical canon and Leonard Bernstein's investment in that tradition, juvenile delinquency in the 1950s, feminism and the women of West Side Story, Latin-American and Hispanic influences, and its international reception and distribution. Richly illustrated with images and musical examples and complete with factual appendixes like a chronological timeline, discography, and cast and crew list, this fascinating account is exciting for specialists and non-specialists alike--Publisher description.

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In this expansion of her doctoral dissertation, Wells (Mount Allison Univ., Canada) explores West Side Story in terms of musical and cultural expression. She begins with an account of the show from Read more...

 
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