Covering 100 years of theatre history, In the Long Run: A Cultural History of Broadway’s Hit Plays traces the long-running Broadway play as a distinct cultural phenomenon that rises and falls from 1918 to 2018. The book presents in-depth analysis of 15 plays that ran over 1,000 performances, examining what made each so popular in its time — and then, in many cases, fall into obscurity.
Each chapter focuses on the longest-running plays of a particular decade, synthesizing historical research and dramaturgical analysis to explain how they functioned as works of theatrical art, cultural commodities, and reflections of the values, conflicts, and fantasies of their times. Suitable for theatre fans, practitioners, and scholars, In the Long Run explores the nature of time in this ephemeral art form, the tensions between commerce and art, between popularity and prestige, and the changing position of the Broadway play within American popular culture.
Among the long-running hits examined in In the Long Run are Lightnin’ (1918), Abie’s Irish Rose (1922), Tobacco Road (1933), Life with Father (1939), The Voice of the Turtle (1943), Harvey (1944), Born Yesterday (1946), The Seven Year Itch (1952), The Teahouse of the August Moon (1953), Mary, Mary (1961), Barefoot in the Park (1963), Gemini (1977), Deathtrap (1978), Torch Song Trilogy (1982), and Brighton Beach Memoirs (1983).
About the author:
Jordan Schildcrout is the author of the book Murder Most Queer, as well as articles on American theatre and culture published in Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, and The Journal of American Drama and Theatre. He is Associate Professor of Theatre & Performance at Purchase College, SUNY, and also works as a dramaturg in New York City.
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