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Show Boat: Performing Race in an American Musical (Broadway Legacies) Hardcover – November 2, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"A fascinating look at how Show Boat helped shape the American musical form and the significant role it continues to play in our conversation about race. Todd Decker has compiled an exhaustive, engaging, and immensely readable cultural history that resonates with the same vibrant emotional impact of the musical itself." --Susan Stroman, Director & Choreographer


"Traveling through seemingly familiar territory, one makes startling new discoveries on every page about American music, theater, identity, and racial history. Decker demonstrates forcefully and conclusively why Show Boat was and remains the 'most important [American] musical ever made.'" --Thomas L. Riis, Director, American Music Research Center, University of Colorado at Boulder


"Todd Decker opens a wide window on the extraordinary cultural reach of Show Boat, with special focus on its racial complexities. For Decker, Show Boat is not a fixed text but rather a fascinating and fluid performance object that shifts with the social codes and commercial demands of its many eras." --Carol J. Oja, Professor, Harvard University, and author of Making Music Modern: New York in the 1920s


"A well written, thoroughly researched and cogently presented new study on one of the most studied and, for that matter, most deserving of study musicals of the twentieth century." --Brad Hathaway - Theater Shelf


"An excellent overview of all aspects of the show...Decker demonstrates a fine command of sources, furnishes good documentation, and includes some photos, illustrations, and
musical examples...Recommended." --Choice


"Decker offers a persuasive argument for the continued relevance of this classic musical, [demonstrating] the productive potential for historiographies of American musical theatre written across rather than 'along divided racial lines.'" --Theatre Journal


"[A] fascinating read about one of the true classics of the American stage." --Studies in Musical Theatre


"...There is a great deal to ponder in it." --JAMS


About the Author


Todd Decker is Assistant Professor of Music at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of Music Makes Me: Fred Astaire and Jazz, winner of the Best First Book Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

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Product Details

  • Series: Broadway Legacies
  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (November 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199759375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199759378
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.2 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Todd Decker is Associate Professor of Music at Washington University in St Louis, where he teaches courses on popular music and film. His current project is a book on music and sound in Hollywood combat films from APOCALYPSE NOW to LONE SURVIVOR.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joe Cascone on December 29, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an extremely well-written history of the legendary Broadway musical. Its author has clearly been privy to rare and intriguing research materials and has spun them together into a very exciting historical restrospective. A must-have for any fan of SHOW BOAT or of Broadway history in general. I felt like I *knew* many of the main contributing artists to the Great Show by reading this wonderful volume. Get it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David C. Nutter on December 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in American Musical theatre should read this. The author has obviously done a lot of research and he goes through each song and scene thoroughly. Cannot praise it enough.
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Format: Kindle Edition
An immediately essential book, superbly researched and well written, for aficionados and students of Show Boat and American culture. I was disappointed with one thing: Decker's nasty takedown of John McGlinn's extraordinary three disc recoding of Show Boat. The aesthetic criticism he levels against McGlinn is compromised by his tone, which is catty and insinuating and decidedly not scholarly. It sickened me.
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