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Singing and Dancing to The Book of Mormon

Critical Essays on the Broadway Musical

Edited by Marc Edward Shaw and Holly Welker

Hardback
eBook
One of the most successful shows in Broadway history, The Book of Mormon broke box office records when it debuted in 2011 and received nine Tony awards, including Best Musical. A collaboration between Trey Parker and Matt Stone (creators of the show South Park) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), the show was a critical success, cited for both its religious irreverence and sendup of musical traditions.

In
Singing and Dancing to The Book of Mormon: Critical Essays on the Broadway Musical, Marc Edward Shaw and Holly Welker have assembled a collection that examines this cultural phenomenon from a variety of perspectives. Contributors to this volume address such questions as:

  • What made the musical such a remarkable success?
  • In what ways does the show utilize established musical theatre traditions and comic tropes, but still create something new?
  • What religious and cultural buttons does the work push?
  • What artistic and social boundaries—and the transgressions thereof—give the work its edge?
Another focus in this volume is the official and unofficial Mormon reactions to the musical.

Because the coeditors and several of the contributors have ties to the Mormon community, they offer unique perspectives on the musical’s finer points about Mormon doctrine. Beyond the obvious appeal to theatre devotees,
Singing and Dancing to The Book of Mormon will be of interest to scholars of religion, sociology, theatre, and popular culture.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 192Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-1-4422-6676-6 • Hardback • April 2016 • $75.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-4422-6677-3 • eBook • April 2016 • $71.00 • (£47.95)
Marc Edward Shaw is associate professor of theatre arts at Hartwick College (Oneonta, New York). He is co-editor of Performing American Masculinities: The 21st-Century Man in Popular Culture (2011) and HBO’s Girls and the Awkward Politics of Gender, Race, and Privilege (Lexington Books, 2015).

Holly Welker has written about Mormonism for such publications as Bitch, Religion Dispatches, Slate, and the New York Times. Her work has also appeared in a variety of journals, including The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, and Best American Essays.
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