The American invasion: the impact of Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun

Symonds, Dominic (2017) The American invasion: the impact of Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun. In: The Oxford handbook of the British musical. Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN 9780199988747

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Item Type:Book Section
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

This chapter considers the impact of “the American invasion,” a slew of Broadway musicals led by Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun that captivated audiences when they opened in London in 1947. The energy, pace and vitality of American performers shocked British audiences mired in post-war rationing and rehabilitation, and contrasted with the typical material on the British musical stage. This has been a powerful narrative, though one that only tells part of the tale. To understand the transatlantic dynamics that are its context, it is useful to consider how America projected itself around this time, and the way in which the British perceived Americans. With Hollywood images of virile action heroes, and with American GIs stationed on British soil, wartime Brits encountered a new and forceful sexuality that the energy of the Broadway musical evoked. As the staid morals of the pre-war era gave way to the excitement of the new, the British musical responded with the punchy riposte of a new Novello show. In Gay’s the Word, Novello laid the foundation for the British to offer just as much vitality as America.

Keywords:masculinity, Novello, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Oklahoma!, Gay's the Word, GI, post-war
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W330 History of Music
T Eastern, Asiatic, African, American and Australasian Languages, Literature and related subjects > T700 American studies
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:27537
Deposited On:22 May 2017 12:09

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