Hasa Diga Eebowai
In 2011, a musical full of curse words and Mormon missionaries swept that year’s Tony Awards show and was praised among major media outlets as a triumphant return of the American musical. Has everyone gone insane, or is this show a new milestone for musical theatre? This book explores the inherent achievements and failures of The Book of Mormon--one of the most ambitious, and problematic, musicals to achieve widespread success. The metaphor of boxing helps to explore the metaphorical punches that the show’s creative trio deliver and to ruminate over the less-discussed ideological wounds that their style of shock absurdism might leave behind.
Brian Granger carefully examines where The Book of Mormon succeeds and fails, challenging our understanding of musical comedy and our appreciation for this cultural landmark in theatre.
Preface: The Biggest Man-Balls on Broadway Introduction: Fit for the Ring: A Training Montage 1. Tradition, Musical Theatre’s Titleholder Versus Its Number One Challenger, Originality (A Win) 2. The Fight America Wanted: Faith as Creative Self-Guidance Versus Faith as Dutiful Collective Obedience (A Win) 3. Cheap Shots: Western Representations of Africa On Stage Versus African Diaspora Realities On Stage (A Loss) 4. A Caution: Putting LGBTQ Advocacy on Queer Street Conclusion: Split Decision: Defending the Offending Champions
Routledge’s Fourth Wall books are short, accessible accounts of some of modern theatre’s best loved works. They take a subjective but easily digestible approach to their topics, allowing their authors the opportunity to explore their chosen subject in a way that is absorbing enough to be of use both to lovers of theatre and those who are being asked to study a play more deeply.
Each book in the series looks at a specific play, variously exploring its themes, contexts and characteristics while prioritising original, insightful writing over complexity or scholarly weight. While other cultural products such as albums and films are well served by this kind of writing, the Fourth Wall series aims to find room between rigorous analysis and the short format of reviews or articles. They are extended accounts that get to the heart of their chosen works without being bound by the density that academic treatments can often require.