TDM 194S

THE SHOW-TUNE CANON & THE NO-SHOW-SONGBOOK invites students to view the history of musical theater’s greatest songs through a comparative lens which places the Show-Tune-Canon in dialogue with the “No-Show-Songbook” a songbook stretching from African- American blues & jazz all the way to rock and roll, disco, punk, and beyond. 

This course wants to take Company's Bobby for a walk on Lou Reed's wild side, or maybe find Lou waiting at Bobby’s stage-door. 

The course asks many questions: 

  1. What can we learn about musical theater by listening to the music that often informed it, but never made it to the stage in its authentic form? 
  2. What can we learn about musical theater by listening to the popular music it influenced? 
  3. What can we learn by creating radical conversations between ultra-modern pop and traditional show-tunes? 
  4. What can we learn about the chosen subject matter of show-tunes vs no show tunes? 
  5. What can we learn about race, class, gender, sexuality, capitalism and beyond by comparing how these subjects are framed in the show-tune realm vs the popular song realm? 
  6. This course will help students locate what is dramatic about The Slits “Typical Girls” and what is punky about Elaine Strich's "Ladies Who Lunch." (When Strich sings "Everybody dies!!!" It has decidedly more to do with Siouxsie than Streisand).