By David Savran

In attractive, obtainable prose, best theater critic and cultural commentator David Savran explores the intersections among paintings and tradition, delivering shrewdpermanent, compelling interpretations of the industrial and social contexts of theatrical texts and practices. Acknowledging theater's marginal prestige in U.S. tradition, A Queer kind of Materialism takes on "the trouble-makers--the ghost, closeted gay, masochist, drag king, 3rd global laborer, even the white male as victim"--who determine extra prominently in theater than in different cultural varieties. In impeccably researched and argued essays that diversity in subject material from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Paula Vogel, from all of sudden final summer season to Iron John, Savran uncovers the ways in which such troublemakers either problem and strengthen orthodox social practices.
The decisions offered listed below are via turns pleasing, informative, refined, and polemical, reflecting the author's twin citizenship as rigorous student and fascinating theater critic. This booklet additionally presents a version for one of those queer ancient materialism that may end up beneficial to quite a lot of disciplines, together with theater and function, gender and sexuality, queer/gay/lesbian/transgender experiences, American stories, and renowned culture.
David Savran is Professor of Theater, the Graduate middle, town collage of latest York, and writer of Cowboys, Communists, and Queers and Taking It Like a Man.

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Miller analyzes the numerous intersections between the con­ ventions of the midcentury musical and the tastes and experiences-the secret codes and fantasies-of a generation of gay men. He also com­ pellingly details the contradictory seductions by which the musical works its magic, its way of both provoking and foreclosing an identification with the figure of the Star Mother. 9 Wolf, meanwhile, attempts to reclaim the musical for lesbian (and feminist) spectators by pointing out that fe­ male characters in midcentury musicals are offered up less as "objects of desire" than as "strong, dominating women," as characters, in other words, whose presence undermines the distinction between identifica­ tion and desire.

Although the British invasion may suggest that the American theater retains a certain colonized mentality, I am more interested in analyzing why producers and critics worked so hard to bolster a belief in the su­ periority of the British theater. It would seem that in a time of unpre­ cedented confusion in the United States between high and low, British (or Anglo-Irish) drama appeals to producers, theatergoers, and critics alike because it brings a whiff of elite culture, a touch of class, to Amer­ ican theater.

Unlike their gay brethren, les­ bians (and lesbian eroticism) provide a kind of spicy divertissement that is arguably less threatening than male homoeroticism to the many straight men who produce and consume these works. In Hollywood during the 1990s, lesbians became the height of chic-stylish, sexy, and consumable commodities guaranteed to titillate (this development neatly complements and extends the long history of lesbian pornogra­ phy marketed to straight men). Even a film like Bound, with its duo of triumphantly lethal lesbians, manages to control and contain these re­ sistant subjects to some extent at least through the scopophilia of the cinematic apparatus and their positioning by the end of the film as nar­ cissistic doubles.

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