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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay examines the critical response to the musical theater in the United States during the post–World War II period. It highlights the persistence of the book musical standard and the biases against the use of popular culture as a basis for a contemporary production. It argues that most of the arguments for the imminent demise of musical theatre as an art rather than entertainment are based on the “golden age” model of musical theatre history.

Keywords: musical theater, post–World War II, book musical standard, popular culture, art, entertainment, golden age model

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