and Bohlman explore the role of musicals in everyday life.
according to Katherine Trumpener and Philip V. Bohlman, describe
and transcend everyday life. In their course The Musical: Staging
Everyday Worlds, the teachers offer two very distinct views
of musicals. Trumpener, a professor in Germanic studies, comparative
literature, and English in the cinema and media studies and
general studies committees and the College, approaches the class
with an interest in sound, text, and visual relationships. Bohlman,
a professor in the music department, the College, and the Committee
on Jewish Studies, is interested in the uses of music. Together,
the two sets of interests result, says Trumpener, in the analysis
of "film music, visual form, choreography, color, as well
as the role of the musical in the 'dream factory' [Hollywood
and other illusionistic cinemas] and in establishing ethnic
and gender identity."
spring, undergraduate and graduate students in the class will
study three eras-early musicals of the 1930s and 1940s, "classic"
Hollywood musicals, and "counter-musicals." The first
era includes such films as The Jazz Singer, Der Purim Spieler,
Le Million, and Shall We Dance? Musicals from the
classic Hollywood era include A Star Is Born, Showboat, West
Side Story, Oklahoma, and The Sound of Music. The
final category of musicals includes what the teachers term "meta-/anti-musicals"
such as Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Eighties and Windowshopping,
and Distant Voices, Still Lives.
course coincides with the spring quarter DOC film series "Songs
in the Dark," devoted to questions of race, ethnicity,
and the musical. Required for the course are a book report,
two papers, and a final exam.-Q.J.