By David Savran

In enticing, available prose, best theater critic and cultural commentator David Savran explores the intersections among artwork and tradition, providing shrewdpermanent, compelling interpretations of the commercial and social contexts of theatrical texts and practices. Acknowledging theater's marginal prestige in U.S. tradition, A Queer type 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 types. In impeccably researched and argued essays that variety in subject material from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Paula Vogel, from by surprise final summer time to Iron John, Savran uncovers the ways in which such troublemakers either problem and make stronger orthodox social practices.
The choices awarded listed here are by means of turns interesting, informative, refined, and polemical, reflecting the author's twin citizenship as rigorous student and fascinating theater critic. This booklet additionally offers a version for a type of queer historic materialism that would turn out invaluable to a variety of disciplines, together with theater and function, gender and sexuality, queer/gay/lesbian/transgender reviews, American stories, and renowned culture.
David Savran is Professor of Theater, the Graduate middle, the town college of latest York, and writer of Cowboys, Communists, and Queers and Taking It Like a Man.

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Extra info for A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American theater

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Its championing by these three crit­ ics, moreover, must not be seen as the product of their personal idiosyn­ crasies. On the contrary, the emphasis on moral uplift is a hallmark of the New York Times's house style. In what other newspaper could a critic, relationship with Hollywood, which it resents and from which it tries to �istance itself, while envying its economic and cultural clout and imitat­ ing its product. The periodic incursions of British drama function in part as a remedy for Broadway's recurrent middlebrow anxiety attacks �y elevating its stature (at least as far as the Times is concerned), giving it a certain elite appeal, and staving off the culture of hotness.

And while lesbian performance may be marginalized, 64 1 1 1: 1 "I The Queerest Art A Queer Sort ofMaterialism the downtown performance circuit is able to offer artists like Holly Hughes or Split Britches a measure of control over the means of pro­ duction that Broadway (and even off-Broadway) writers sacrifice to the more corporatized interests of the large producing organizations. The success of gay men on Broadway and in regional theaters is in part the result of the work of their many distinguished-and closeted­ forebears.

But the play's millennialism (not unlike that, ironically, of the Christian right) functions to reassure audiences that History has a meaning and that they can awaken from the nightmare of the past. Al­ though Love! Valour! , in its reinvention and opening up of gay domestic drama, does not question the opposition between public and private, it is, like Angels, committed to a utopian vision of commu­ nity and a teleology of redemption. Yet unlike Angels, it does not attempt to reimagine gay male subjectivity or problematize racial, gendered, or class-based norms, preferring instead to exploit, proudly and voyeuristi­ cally, the buff bodies and physical endowments of (the actors playing the roles of) upwardly mobile gay men.

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A queer sort of materialism : recontextualizing American by David Savran
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