A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (Hardback)
  • A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (Hardback)
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A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York (Hardback)

(author)
£22.50
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 29/11/2016
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From its Broadway debut to the Oscar-winning film to countless amateur productions, West Side Story is nothing less than an American touchstone an updating of Shakespeare located in a vividly realized, rapidly changing postwar New York. That vision of postwar New York is at the heart of Julia L. Foulkes's A Place for Us. A lifelong fan of the show, Foulkes became interested in its history when she made an unexpected discovery: parts of the iconic film version were shot on the demolition site of what would ultimately be part of the Lincoln Center redevelopment a crowning jewel of postwar urban renewal. Foulkes interweaves the story of the creation of the musical and film with the remaking of the Upper West Side and the larger tale of New York's postwar aspirations. Making unprecedented use of Jerome Robbins's revelatory papers, she shows the crucial role played by the political commitments of Robbins and his fellow gay, Jewish collaborators, Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents: their determination to evoke life in New York as it was actually lived helped give West Side Story its unshakable sense of place even as it put forward a vision of a new, vigorous, determinedly multicultural American city. Beautifully written and full of surprises for even the most dedicated West Side Story fan, A Place for Us is a powerful new exploration of an American classic.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226301808
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
""A Place for Us"tells a new story about one of US theater's most important plays. A skillful historian, Julia Foulkes delves deeply into the archive to recover the details and dynamics of"West Side Story"from its conception and production to its film adaptation and global circulation. In doing so, she connects that story to the contemporaneous events and cultural anxieties that made the musical both timely and timeless."
--Shane Vogel, author of The Scene of Harlem Cabaret"
"A Place for Ustells a new story about one of US theater's most important plays. A skillful historian, Julia Foulkes delves deeply into the archive to recover the details and dynamics ofWest Side Storyfrom its conception and production to its film adaptation and global circulation. In doing so, she connects that story to the contemporaneous events and cultural anxieties that made the musical both timely and timeless."
--Shane Vogel, author of The Scene of Harlem Cabaret"
"An excellent account of West Side Story and its central role as a play and movie in American musical history and in American culture more generally. What makes the book unique is its focus on New York and the urban experience as central to the story's appeal at a time when the city was undergoing massive urban renewal, particularly on the West Side, throwing the urban poor into ethnic and racial conflict over rapidly decreasing turf. A lively, well-written book that will appeal to fans of theater and American history alike."--Lewis A. Erenberg, author of Swingin' the Dream
"A Place for Us tells a new story about one of US theater's most important plays. A skillful historian, Julia Foulkes delves deeply into the archive to recover the details and dynamics of West Side Story from its conception and production to its film adaptation and global circulation. In doing so, she connects that story to the contemporaneous events and cultural anxieties that made the musical both timely and timeless."
--Shane Vogel, author of The Scene of Harlem Cabaret

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