US History Takes the Broadway Stage

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Friday, November 19, 2010

This season on Broadway, three of the most buzzed-about shows are mixing historical lessons with jazz hands and harmonies. The shows, "The Scottsboro Boys," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," and "A Free Man of Color," all take vastly different approaches to the historical content they draw upon.

In this week's Arts File on WQXR, Kerry Nolan talks to Time Out New York Theater Editor David Cote about the assets and pitfalls of taking U.S. history to the stage. Check out Cote's own notes on performing history plays on his blog.

Check out a scene from "The Scottsboro Boys" below.


David Cote

Hosted by:

Kerry Nolan

Produced by:

Julia Furlan

Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Theater taking on politics, the social condition, and the role of money and royalty and governments in constructing false premises and poisoning the literature and the public's understanding of what is happening, is nothing new. Shakespeare's Histories: Richard the Second, Richard the Third, Richard the Fourth, parts 1 & 2, Henry the Fifth, Julius Caesar & tragedies; Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet & Othello; Charles Dicken's Tale of Two Cities & Oliver Twist; the Broadway musical Les Miserables; Harriet Beecher Stowes' Uncle Tom's Cabin; Rodger & Hammerstein's South Pacific & King & I 7 the movies Greed, the Juggler, War on the Western Front & Grapes of Wrath & the Broadway Inherit the Wind are just a few of the hundreds of major masterpieces that mirror the outrages that historically have been illuminated through performances in the theater arts, and printed in books.

Nov. 22 2010 09:50 PM

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