Paris and the Musical : The City of Light on Stage and Screen book cover
1st Edition

Paris and the Musical
The City of Light on Stage and Screen

Edited By

Olaf Jubin

ISBN 9781138611092
Published March 18, 2021 by Routledge
414 Pages 78 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Paris and the Musical explores how the famous city has been portrayed on stage and screen, investigates why the city has been of such importance to the genre and tracks how it has developed as a trope over the 20th and 21st centuries.

From global hits An American in Paris, Gigi, Les Misérables, Moulin Rouge! and The Phantom of the Opera to the less widely-known Bless the Bride, Can-Can, Irma la Douce and Marguerite, the French capital is a central character in an astounding number of Broadway, Hollywood and West End musicals. This collection of 18 essays combines cultural studies, sociology, musicology, art and adaptation theory, and gender studies to examine the envisioning and dramatisation of Paris, and its depiction as a place of romance, hedonism and libertinism or as ‘the capital of the arts’.

The interdisciplinary nature of this collection renders it as a fascinating resource for a wide range of courses; it will be especially valuable for students and scholars of Musical Theatre and those interested in Theatre and Film History more generally.

Table of Contents


Part I. Capital Paris
1. Paris as Symbol – Venita Datta
2. ‘Yes, I’m a Gay Parisian!’ Establishing the Trope of ‘Gay Paree’: The Merry Widow
Stefan Frey
3. ‘Come and Play Wiz Me in Gay Paree’: Approaching Cole Porter’s Paris –
Hannah Robbins

Part II. Broadway Paris
4. Dressed by Paris: Mlle Modiste, Roberta and No Strings – Maya Cantu
5. Liberated by Paris: A Reconsideration of Three Broadway ‘Flops’ – Miss Liberty, Ben
Franklin in Paris
and Dear World – Michael Garber
6. Seduced by Paris: Irma La Douce and Its Journey to Broadway – Stewart

Part III. Hollywood Paris
7. The Capital of Pre-Code Operettas: Paris at Paramount and MGM –
Marguerite Chabrol
8. Paris as Location: Funny Face, Les Girls, Silk Stockings and Gigi – Julia
9. Paris by Hand: Gay Purr-ee and Aristocats – Daniel Batchelder

Part IV. West End Paris
10. Shockwaves at a Distance: Ellis and Herbert’s Bless the Bride – John Snelson
11. Performing Paris. Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera and Aspects of Love – John Snelson
12. The Courtesan and the Collaborator: Marguerite – Clare Chandler

Part V. Naughty Paris
13. Gay Shame in Gay Paree: Re-contextualising Gender Progressiveness in Two Film
Versions of Victor/Victoria – Florian Seubert
14. À la recherche de quel temps? Can-Can and the Fluidity of Paris perdu
Raymond Knapp and Mitchell Morris
15. Art, Artifice and Artificiality: the Various Versions of the Musical Gigi – Olaf Jubin

Part VI. Artistic Paris
16. ‘Artists in Art’s Capital City’: Americans in Paris on Screen and Stage –
Robert Gordon
17. Paris and the Curse of Chicago in Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George
– Robert Lawson-Peebles
18. The Paradoxical ‘Frenchness’ of an Australian Musical: Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! – Pierre-Olivier Toulza


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Olaf Jubin is Professor of Musical Theatre and Media Studies at Regent’s University London. He has written, co-written and co-edited several books on popular culture, including British Musical Theatre since 1950, The Oxford Handbook of the British Musical and the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook of the Global Stage Musical.