Lessons off Broadway: Princeton professor dissects zeitgeist in musicals
Hi Guys it's me tie pool and I'm back and I have way more questions things like water animals saying to each other. Why spacesuit so does what's the science behind this season. I'm willing to go where no seventh-grader has ever gone before to find you. The answers answers rest your eyes prepare your ears for all new episodes of tie. Hi asks why this is a CBC podcast idealize the broad Golden Haze on the man. Oh ooh abroad as the Broadway musical and art form both beloved and maligned maligned as escapist overly commercial and sometimes cheesy but whether you love them or hate them. Broadway musicals do have a secret power. Musicals are surprisingly useful to gauge. What's happening in social era? Stacy Wolf is a professor of musical theater at Princeton University. She argues argues that Broadway musicals provide a unique window into what's going on in North American society at any given time they are always in conversation with with their moment a conversation that both captures and propels social change over the next hour. We'll hear about the evolution from this day rather than science saw Mary the bad today and tomorrow to this to this it and finally this but first we start at the very beginning so if you go back hundreds or even thousands of years and and look at everything from indigenous culture to ancient Greece to China humans have always he's connected stories to song and I just wonder where you think this impulse comes for. I think the impulse comes from the desire to tell stories and the effectiveness snus of Song when people come together and sing together it creates something bigger than we can imagine individual individual voices joining in harmonies or in counterpoint no matter what kind of music it is is doing something larger and when that's put in the context of a story it amplifies the emotions it intensifies the meaning and as you say every culture has examples of of the joining of story and music that goes back for forever and I think it's about intensity intensifying feeling and meaning and creating a sense of community on stage and in the audience it brings people together like no other art form can is that what sort of initially drew you to musicals that feeling that of of something larger absolutely and I think that anyone anyone who's participated in the creation of a musical has experienced this intense pleasure of working hard one's own itself in collaboration with other people through the music and when we come together it it becomes something enormous and incredibly satisfying disfie- and I felt that from the time I was a child I started performing when I was eight years old and I know many people who are professional artists now l. and academics and also just everyday people who for whom participating in musical theater was and is so important to their life for exactly the reason the fulfillment and the excitement of making something together that's bigger than oneself so this is probably an unfair question but what was your favorite musical but when I was a kid I was completely obsessed with the sound of music net start at the very very be a very good place to start when you read you begin with when when you see you begin with doe ray me remy the fullest and I think that's probably absolutely true for a lot of girls who grew up in in the sixties and Seventies. It's hard veltri why would it why is that yes well. I think part of it is that we have the feisty character of Maria and she breaks rules but not really that badly and she goes against. It's the grain but not really that badly and she does get to get married but she also gets to do a lot of other really fun things like run over the mountains and she teaches kids to sing and it's very refund all musicals that have kids in them. I think many people relate to the sound of music is a is a big is is produced over and over and over again because of all the kids but I think Maria is freedom and her energy and the songs that she got to sing many of us grew up singing DOA deer and the other songs from the sound of music. I think they were very much a part of the culture for those of us who grew up in the sixties and seventies so how did that kind of interest get translated plated into an interest in an academic investigation of musicals. How did you make that turn that such a great question until very not recently I would say the past fifteen twenty years at the most there was no field there was no academic field that was musical theater studies but things started to turn about when I finished my graduate work in the mid nineties and more people started turning towards musical theater and seeing it as a serious element of American culture and on par with jazz and to be considered seriously as a part of our cultural heritage and I was a M- I wouldn't say I was I was definitely not the first but I was among the first generation of scholars dollars that started taking musical seriously and those of us who I was trained in theatre studies so the same tools that I learned to analyze Shakespeare or are absent or Arthur Miller I then turned to analyzing the Lebron does of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals learner and lowe musicals and to use those Oh same analytical tools and my colleagues who were I trained to music use the tools that they developed analyzing Beethoven and Chopin and Bach back to the music of Richard Rodgers and we apply these tools and at the same time started thinking about how we're musicals how how are musicals in conversation with everyday social and political life how do they as all forms of culture especially popular culture mainstream culture commercial culture how do they reflect refracted and shape values in our culture and I was amazed to see how gender particularly because I studied feminist theory and feminist theater in Graduate School when I turned my attention to musical theater Peter. How gender was a crucial component in the structure of musicals? It wasn't simply that most musicals are boy meets girl boy loses girl boy gets girl but that gender as performance fundamentally shaped musicals appeal its meaning and it's significance from the time it started in the early twentieth century and especially from the nineteen forties and fifties till today. Could you please make the case for us. How useful are these musicals Broadway musicals for gauging. You know what is happening politically and the social climate of a particular era musicals are surprisingly useful to gauge which what's happening in social era. They are always in conversation. Chan with their moment partly because as we've already discussed they are infectious they are engaging they grab people emotionally and so they have tremendous power not only through what we might see as regular processes of identification so icy. I Seem Maria on stage and she's running around and she gets to sing all these great songs identify with her and I want to be her but also the kinesthetic aesthetic engagement of the musical that when we experience a musical where tapping our toes and were humming along and we're seeing the lights change and we're seeing the choreography and we are engaged and involved in that has incredible emotional effect that then leads directly to how we feel about without the world how we understand the world also because musicals are commercial and their mainstream they must make money to succeed and in order to succeed. They must speak to something in his eye geist. Maybe they're critical of our moment. Maybe they are contradictory victory which I would say most musicals are giving us a double messages all the time but those that do succeed are tapping into something vital in our culture in that moment bride Golden Haze on all of ride Golden Jordan Luck Horn is It looks like it's unclear to us so let's talk about some examples of what you're talking about and if we walk through the history starting from the nineteen fifties. Could you tell us what was happening on Broadway at the time sure the nineteen fifties are are still considered to be the golden age of the Broadway musical rodgers and Hammerstein were pumping out shows incredibly fast they wrote Oklahoma in nineteen forty three which was said to be the apotheosis of musical theatre. Oklahoma did a lot of amazing things primarily. Li It demonstrated the importance of what we now call the formally integrated musical so all of the songs that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote note seemed to emerge from the character it was in the voice of the character both in terms of the lyrics and in terms of the music and musicals were meant to seem like speech moved naturally into song and walking moved naturally into dance and that was seen seen as the greatest feat of the American musical this formal integration where everything held together now of course we we know things didn't hold together and that's very pleasure of the musical that speech is different than song and walking is different than dance. That's why musicals are fun because they operate in these different modes for the most part so these this form was being perfected through learner and lows my fair lady eighty through west side story through the Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals the king and I and sound abusive other shows of the Nineteen nineteen fifties especially at a time when American culture was very conservative. Gender roles were conservative. It was The Post war boom and women were expected to be good wives and mothers. Why not married a man today rubble though he may be not Monteverde likes to play crazy wild and today rather than Cy and saw Mary the bad today tomorrow Mary the man did today? Hey maybe he's leaving leaving. Don't let him get away. Rian track uh-huh and most musicals did not represent women as good wives and mothers but they represented women as moving towards that because they were fundamentally structured around a heterosexual couple that meets at the beginning of the show they hate each other but but they sing a duet together which we call a subjunctive duet and by singing together the beginning of the show it signals to the audience that they will get together and then the show charts. They're increasing coming together going apart coming together going apart and that at the end they get together and that is also celebrated raided by the community and sister. I have a pot most hang take maybe half science saw Mary and how do you as a as a feminist grapple with the message behind that song and others like Ah guys and dolls is such a wonderful example of what we've been talking about the formerly integrated musical it has two different heterosexual couples which is very typical configuration one is serious couple in this case Sky Masterson and Sarah Brown and then a comic couple Miss Adelaide elite and Nathan Detroit and they go along in parallel ways coming together going apart coming together going apart one of the things that's fascinating thing about Mary. The man today is that it's a duet between these two women a female duet these two women who really have had nothing to do with each other through the whole show except that they are both in an attraction repulsion relationship with a man who is at once wholly inadequate for them an absolutely perfect perfect for them and then the next to last song of the show so we're very near the end of the show they sing this duet together which is very funny and very smart and self reflexive and I argue that the energy of this female duet undermines in a way the heterosexual propulsion of the musical so even though this musical is about guys and dolls. It's about guys and dolls coming together. This almost endgame performance of these two women gives a different kind of energy to the show and opens a space for a feminist feminist spectator to drive tremendous pleasure in how these two actors because that's how it is on stage how these two actors interact and sing the song together and surely that was not the intention of the creators. The intention of the creators was to put in a different song that was really fun near the end of the show and probably to give to wonderful actor chance to perform because musicals are built on all different kinds of songs both to give actors voices arrest at different points in the show and to provide musical variety so in what you're saying is that we we can't really take songs like these set of at face value that there is something perhaps happening. You know going on that. We don't see sort of at first glance absolutely one of the things that I find so amazing about musical theater and that continually fascinates me and makes me WanNa see more shows and think about the more and teach them more because I spend a lot of time in in the classroom with amazingly smart and engage young people is that what the text itself that is the script the music the lyrics and even sometimes the choreography can often be in a contradictory relationship with the performance so there are many cases and this is especially clear musicals of the nineteen sixties where the character is pathetic. The character is a victim and yet the actor has a chance to stand centre-stage and sing a great song and take a lot of space and I think that this this contradiction in some ways fundamental to why so many girls are attracted to musical theater performance and why so many girls find themselves in situations where where they're playing characters who they hate and yet they get to do really great things on stage. It's just fundamental to the history of this form yeah the way so moving from there into the nineteen sixties in this is the era of feminism of women's Lib also the Arab hippie culture and civil rights movement in the Gay Rights Movement. You're right that the seemingly seamless nineteen eighteen fifties form of the musical had cracks what starts happening on Broadway and in the nineteen sixties what starts happening is in some ways ways this formally integrated form and all of these conventions that were repeated over and over in shows of the nineteen fifties starts getting getting tired and in some ways that form has run its course at the same time and most significantly there are the social changes of the era that you pointed out women's liberation the civil rights movement the Antiwar Movement and equally significantly the music of Broadway Broadway which had been the popular music of the forties and fifties and had played on the radio and topped the billboard charts was no longer the popular music of the day so it was not a part of everyday culture it became associated with old white people's culture because that's what was going on in the sixties so there were musicals that were struggling to find footing in the sixties and consequently some amazing experiments don't lead to some fantastic musicals we see in the mid nineteen sixties some old classic musicals that are still huge hits maim and and Hello Dolly both Jerry Herman musicals that in some ways obey the rules of earlier musicals it is a formerly integrated show but both of these musicals feature a middle aged woman in the starring role that never would have happened in the nineteen fifties and these two women take up a lot of space and a boss everyone around and they run the show. They're not sexual or sexual is they're not objectified. They are the boss of the world around them. Also in the nineteen sixties we saw the beginning of what we call the concept musical which are musicals that rather than being organized around a heterosexual love story heterosexual narrative. They're organized around an idea or theme yeah so he's beyond cabaret is thought to be the first concept musical and cabaret he is constructed of scenes that alternate between realist book seen so spoken scenes of the action of the story of the romance between cliff and Sally Bowles and scenes in the cabaret this CD place of performance and Weimar my journey that commented on the scene before them Johnson so that was a really interesting show that started to break apart. The form similarly fiddler on the roof in some ways which also opened in the nineteen sixties in some ways is a classic musical but in other ways. It's not because it's very much about the idea of tradition so it is the story of Tabby and his family but mostly it's the story of the nineteen in sixty s girls pushing against their father's authority and it's a very nineteen sixty story that is set in late nineteenth century astern European shuttle so Asia so let's move out of the sixties and into the nineteen seventies when things yet again evolve. I just wonder wonder if you could describe what was happening with the musical Broadway musical form and then it's in the seventies in the nineteen seventies. The Broadway musical was on the one hand. Dan seemed to be at its lowest point because there was a lot of crime in New York City. It had become increasingly expensive to make musicals. The the music of Broadway had nothing to do with popular culture and many of the counter cultural ideas that were coming to the fore in the nineteen sixties were part of the mainstream by the nineteen seventies and Broadway was just seemed to be completely out of step with what was going on at the time. One of the amazing things that happened in the nineteen seventies was the creation of a chorus line in nineteen seventy five which shocked everyone everyone I think not the least of which were the creators including Michael Bennett and it was a musical that was developed at the public theater which went on to develop Hamilton Amilton and fun home in many other important musicals hair was also developed at the public and did quite well financially but not as well as a chorus line Am I anyway AM I. I read that is juror. It does uh as and here we go aw I need this God. I need this. and of course line was built from the stories of out of work dancers and Michael Bennett the brilliant creator who died very young from AIDS. He gathered these actors together. These these dancers together to tell their stories he gave him food he gave them he let them drink provided them with alcohol and pay them a dollar to tell their stories and he and his collaborators crafted a brilliant musical around their stories which is built on this idea of of course line that is the course. I line the dancers and a little line across the stage and this musical perfectly captured the Zeitgeist of the contradiction between queen the individual and the community so of course line is built around each character telling their own story. You're listening to ideas on CBC radio. One in Canada across North America on Sirius Xm in Australia on RN and around the world at CBC dot ca slash ideas you can also listen to ideas on the listen APP or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Nola I'm in conversation with Stacy Wolf a professor of musical theater at Princeton University. She's she's taking me on a tour of the biggest Broadway Hits of the twentieth and twenty first centuries and she argues that musicals play a unique role in our culture both capturing the zeitgeist and propelling social change in the mid seventy s the musical chorus line was an unexpected hit breaking form and formula well. I think what was shocking about of course line. Is that it you did so well. It was a line on a stage and some backdrops that turned around to show mirrors mirrors and some other art deco kinds of designs but it was not a big lavish show it had no heterosexual narrative. It didn't have all kinds of fancy bells and whistles that someone might have expected seeing the direction that the musical was going it. It was an incredibly simple story but because it was about people's desire to be seen and to be recognized in some ways it was it is very fundamentally about the American dream kid comes New York and wants to be a dancer. That's what it's about but the show Oh was created in a way that allowed millions of audience members to tap into it whether or not somebody wanted to be a dancer just the idea of living your dream being recognized finding a place for yourself people could relate to that and it was a huge huge success it was is the longest running musical on Broadway until it was surpassed by cats. Oh my every decade since the nineteen sixties commentators have claimed that the Broadway musical is dead and yet somehow it comes back in the nineteen eighties it primarily came back doc from across the pond that time was referred to actually as the British invasion when producer Cameron Mackintosh Josh and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber brought Mega Musicals Com mega musicals to the United States and the mega-musical completely transformed the production of musical theater the reception of musical theater and the marketing musical theater so the term mega-musical we'll obviously they're big and they're big in every way. Sina graphically they're big with a zillion light cues and huge effects yes and if you think of the barricade and Les Miz coming in or the chandelier dropping and Phantom of the opera and all of the production values are big and and people relatively speaking in the show are small when you think about that in contrast to a chorus line or company or the Whiz or PIP and and other musicals of the seventies where people these were shows that were about people the Nega musicals were about stuff a lot of stuff. It's it's a stark difference France and I. I do wonder what if you could speak to what was going on culturally at the time that the style theater was growing quickly culturally it was a conservative era and Susan Faludi famously wrote a feminist anti-feminist backlash in the nineteen eighties. Reagan was president Margaret Thatcher was prime minister and it was growing corporate greed and a time when and more was better bigger was better and these musicals demonstrated the importance of having more and being bigger they also had vast vast marketing campaigns camera. Macintosh used to say that the more that the longer in advance a show was sold out the more the more are you should publicize it because the more people felt that they could not get tickets the more they would want tickets and that has become in some ways how musical theater marketing works now l. no matter how far out a show of selling it will just be advertised more and more and more it was also a time when they created logos that had no words on them so that these shows could travel internationally and no one needed to know or speak or be able to read any particular language to see that when you have these cats hats is with a dancer. Silhouette of the dancer in the middle of it that that is cats or when you have the face of the Waif the waifish child that that represents SLEIGH MS or when you have the mask that that represents Phantom Mall Rolls and this allowed the shows to travel internationally and more importantly to have sit down productions all across the world at one time so you could have a production of Phantom in ten different cities across the world and they they would be what we call locked down so in some ways the entire show because these shows were also sung through so there was no alternating of speech and and Song. It's one long soundtrack and soundtrack is a word that is not applied to theater because theater is alive formed formed changes every night but these musicals are meant to be exactly the same every night no matter where they are and they have a lot of big moving moving parts and much of what goes on technically is mechanized and computerized and when the barricade moves a human being must must not be in the way of that barricade moving so everything got bigger and more mechanized in a culture that valued what was bigger and what was more mechanized inspiration playing the battle to express to communicate going against screen so now we're in the Nineteen Ninety S. Can you tell us what characterizes the musical of the ninety s certainly rent was the most important musical of the nineteen nineties and in some ways it continued what happened with hair in that it awakened or reawakened the musical to a younger generation. I would say that rent was more successful than hair partly because how licensing worked by the mid Nineteen Ninety s was more expansive and also because rent started the practice of having rush tickets where our kids could sleep out on the streets of New York City and get cheap tickets on the day of the performance. Uh It from the five. It's rant had a huge mythology around it because it's composer. Jonathan Larson died suddenly the night before it opened on Broadway and that put a mystique around the show but I think in addition it was a show that was about the time time that was now it was about the mid nineties and it was about the Lory side and gentrification and how artists function in society you and it had a gay male couple and it had a lesbian couple and had characters of all races and it raised questions about art and about selling out and the music was fantastic and really popular and it got many more young people interested in musical theater and in some ways launched an expansion that continued to today through spring awakening through to legally blonde in the heights and Hamilton but what is it that actually tapped into the youth culture like what was it that was so attractive tip to to young people about rent in particular rent looked like a rock concert. The SAT was a big big scarf big piece of scaffolding and it was very loud. Mike King had started in musicals decades before but rent can't was the first musical to use body. Mike that were visible so it combined this rock concert cert- static with a theatrical aesthetic and it was based on logo based on an old story. It was also very melodramatic it featured young people it featured a community of people it talked about aids and it was very of the moment comment it was not nostalgic it was of its time and it demonstrated that musicals could be political. It was also at the same time Disney was buying up tracts of land on Broadway and the Broadway neighborhood was being transformed so even as rant was about the lower east side and the gentrification of the lower east side Broadway itself was becoming gentrified tourist friendly beauty and the beast open the the lion king opened and New York became safe for some people unless a for other people but it was interesting that both of these things were happening at the same sometime rent at one end and beauty and the beast at the other end. I've heard people come into la La for a reason bringing something we must learn and we aw to the bus to grow and we have them in return well. I don't believe that's true but I know I'm who I am today because I knew like comet as it passes through so now we're moving into this century or this millenium and to talk about a show that we know you love. You named your book after one of the songs so for those of us who didn't see it. Can you give us an idea of what the musical wicked was. All about wicked is the untold story of the witches of the wizard of Oz and it's the back story of the good witch bad witch when they were girls for me when I saw the show and took me completely by surprise it seemed clear that it was essentially a rodgers and Hammerstein musical about two girls about two women and and that it was structured in the same way that Oklahoma carousel the king and I south Pacific and the sound of music were structured in terms of the function of different songs but it was about this female couple and I came to think about the this show more and to see that it combines a lot of aesthetics of the mega-musical so it has incredible technical. OL- spectacular effects and lights and sets changing. It's a very beautiful and engaging show. It is big in some ways it is like a mega musical and I think that it was this combination of mega musical spectacular burgeoning girl power our in the culture of very old form that has been embedded in US cultural memory that grabbed audiences and even though the musical did not get good reviews. It didn't matter it was actually the first show while at the opera was the first show that defied critics expectations in terms of being successful but wicked was another example and huge example of a show where audiences did not care the critics didn't didn't like it and that was also when the Internet was becoming an increasingly important source of people's criticism and more and more spectators did not care what the New York Times said even the New York Times remains incredibly important in whether or not show succeeds audiences went in droves girl many many girls and women and many boys and men and families and it became and continues to be a huge success fast orphans son of o Kor Industry Scotsman dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Cubie who breathing in providence Pablo Ariston squad grow up to be a Hebrew scholar the ten dollars so if we now move into the present Hamilton is the biggest Broadway. Show of the past few years has been It's rob musical about the life of American founding father author Alexander Hamilton. Why does this have such resonance today. It has risen in today because it it connects the past to the present lin-manuel Miranda's the author the librettist lyricist lyricist and composer not the sole creator because this musical was absolutely created by a team of men who have long worked together incredible edible collaborative effort that he says it's the story of America than told by American our I'm I'm not exactly getting the quote right but it's about about connecting the past and the present and I think that there is something incredibly powerful about seeing people of color embody the roles of the founding fathers. There's been so much criticism of this musical that it only Raya Fis the story of white men and that is true it does refi the story of white man that it does not pay attention to slavery that it doesn't pay attention to misogyny too many an I myself written about how limiting the female roles are in this musical but I think the embodiment of these roles by people of color by actors of color and and the use of the rap vernacular and hip hop performance style has just launched musical theater into the everyday lives of young people like never before I think your your question of which came first chicken and the egg I think in this case Hamilton has created interest in American history like no one has ever seen before and I think that is absolutely Hamilton did that. There was not there. Were not people sitting around saying. Let's let's let's think about the American revolution again. Let's think about the founding fathers again. Obviously Hamilton is not accurate history. It's based on a biography and Miranda. Ronda took many many creative liberties as he should. He's an artist. It is not fact is not true however there are a lot of truths in it and its connection into American history is true. That's what it's about you know another as you say unexpected. Broadway hits over the last few years has has its roots here in Canada Which is you know? The musical called come from away. How would you describe that show. I loved come from away on the northeast tip of North America on an island columnist for land. There's an airport. It used to be one of the biggest hair world. I can't do the rack if you come from understand about the half of what we say. Island makes a man I I loved it because it uses the most basic tools of theater and musical theater in a clear evocative engaging moving thoughtful way so the sat is very simple. There were chairs. The the musicians are on the stage. The actors play different roles and someone puts on a vest or put on a hat and changes their physicality and we see you the labor and I mean that in the most ad admiring way the Labor of acting the Labor of performance Belabor of taking on in a different role of moving chairs around. It's such a moving story because it's a story of community at it's about people coming together and stepping up and the music has a lot of keltec influence and the music of the the region and it's just an absolutely lovely story and I think that's another surprising hit. Go through the wildest weather that you've ever but it's never nice above from Disneyland. They it sure elite such a runaway success tells us something about what the audience needs right now is. Is there any inference we can make them for sure. There's no doubt that were in a time where we need to see across different and open our places in our hearts and our communities to people who need help and that show was fundamentally about helping people who need help and it such a generous show the messages so generous and it's also really it's a very funny show. It's it's sad places but it's also very funny and the music sick is infectious and I do think that it's a show that says from top to bottom open your place to a stranger her open your place to someone who has nothing faced in committing up the answer if you bring it around to the president. Can you sense that there's a pattern Saturn in the current season that you could speak to I do think the pattern of the current season is perhaps as any season a bundle of contradictions so we have Haiti's town and we have the new revival of Oklahoma that started at Saint Ann's in Brooklyn and then opened on Broadway and is very dark and critical reinterpretation of that musical there will be a revival of west side story directed by Yvo Van Hove the director who re conceived everything so that probably will be very dark and a new way of thinking of West side story which already is itself a pretty darn complicated show so I think maybe we're moving in a in a lot of different directions at once so it's always really interesting. I think to think about what artists are trying to do and but audiences make of what we see on stage so when you look look at what's what the patterns are what the current musical looks like the current. Broadway musical looks like I just wonder if you think it is really much different from what humans have a bit doing for thousands of years. I do not think it's much different than what humans have been doing for thousands of years I think gathering and a bunch of people strangers together to watch some other people move in an organized way and sing together and do those things in the context of telling a story that probably will have rising action Dan and conflict and a climax in a day new mall by think. It's the same. I think how it's been inflicted has changed. I think the tools the musical tools that dance tools especially the technical tools have changed. Obviously our culture has changed gender race sexually class ability all of that has changed but I think the basic impulses the same now. Finally you know you say you look at the moment as a critic and scholar so I'm just curious how how you think this art form will continue to evolve and in particular what what can we expect to change about how they echo culture but also inform it. Ah I think that what will allow the musical to continue as a vibrant art form that matters is more opportunities for all kinds of people to become creative artists. I think that we need composers. Lyricists directors designers choreographers musical directors. There's musicians producers drama Turks marketing people of every identity of every walk of life who bring to the table all of their experiences and all their cultural competencies and I think that the more we're able to teach these skills or expand our understanding of what musical theater can be the more it will matter to culture as our society becomes increasingly increasingly diverse cannot remain elitist it cannot remain only for people who have a certain kind of access certain kinds of training and I think that I hope that one of the things I can do as an educator is encourage more young people from all different kinds backgrounds to imagine themselves as musical theater artists. Thank you very much stacey. Thank you Stacy Wolf is a professor of musical theater at Princeton University. It is the author of changed for good a feminist history of the Broadway musical. You can learn more about her and her research through our website. CBC DOT CA Slash Ideas this episode was produced by ideas contributor and Broadway musical aficionado Alison grow from it will leave you with Allison's favourite interpretation of a Broadway musical number. If I were a bell by Miles Davis thanks to Princeton University for use of their Studio Technical Production Danielle do web producer Lisa you so and senior producer Nikola Look Shit. Greg Kelly is the executive producer of ideas and knowledge for more C._B._C. PODCASTS Goto C._B._C. Dot C._A. Slash podcasts.