Description - Place for Us by D.A. Miller
It used to be a secret that, in its post-war heyday, the Broadway musical recruited a massive underground following of gay men. But though this once silent social fact currently spawns jokes that every sitcom viewer is presumed to be in on, it has not necessarily become better understood. In this text, D.A. Miller probes what all the jokes about the post-war Broadway musical laugh off: the embarrassingly mutual affinity between a "general" cultural form and the despised "minority" that was in fact that form's implicit audience. D.A. Miller restores to their historical density the main modes of reception that so many gay men developed to answer the musical's call: the early private communion with the original cast albums; the later camping of show tunes in piano bars; and the still later reformatting of these same songs at the post-Stonewall disco. In addition, through an extended reading of "Gypsy", Miller specifies the nature of the call itself, which he locates in the post-war musical's most basic conventions: the contradictory relation between the show and the book; the mimetic tendency of the musical number; and the centrality of the female star.
If the post-war musical may be called a "gay" genre, Miller demonstrates, this is because its regular but unpublicized work has been to indulge men in the thrills of a femininity become their own.
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(202mm x 130mm x 9mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Book Reviews - Place for Us by D.A. Miller