Racism has been a controversial topic in the arts beginning with Shakespeare. Four musicals between 1927-1960 discussed this topic: Showboat, South Pacific, The King and I and West Side Story. Showboat was the product of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical spans three decades centering on the lives of a showboat troupe. In addition to racism, the production also discusses other social elements such as alcoholism, spousal abuse and gambling. South Pacific occurs during World War II revolving around Nellie Forbush and her older fiancé, Emile de Becque. A subplot involves an interracial romance between Lt. Cable and Liat, an island native. The King and I focuses on another interracial love story between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, the schoolteacher. West Side Story is an updated version of Romeo and Juliet. This paper will examine the composer and lyricist's motivation for discussing such a controversial topic.
|School:||The University of Akron|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Music history, Music|
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