America's Musical Stage: Two Hundred Years of Musical Theatre by Julian Mates
Mates shows the musical stage in all its guises--from burlesque to musical comedy to grand opera--from its beginnings in pre-Revolutionary America to the present day. He deals sensitively with the recurrent aesthetic question of popular versus highbrow art and also looks at critical reactions to popular theatrical forms of musical entertainment. He introduces the reader to various types of theatrical companies, the changing repertory, and the many kinds of musical performers who have animated the stage. Mates focuses on the creative relationships between the different forms of opera, the minstrel show and circus, melodrama and dance, burlesque, revue, vaudeville, and musical comedy.