Scott Miller once again shares his passion for and knowledge of musical theater in this endlessly entertaining and informative look at how musicals have both reflected and adapted to America's changing mores. Specifically, Miller casts his eye on the triumvirate of postwar social change: sex, drugs, and rock & roll.
Eager to respond to the concerns and tastes of the increasingly influential baby-boomer generation, musical theater in the late Sixties began to embrace formerly taboo subjects. Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Musicals shows how American culture has changed over the twentieth century, from the Roaring Twenties (The Wild Party) to the cultural chaos of the Fifties (Grease) and the sexual revolution of the Sixties (Hair) and Seventies (Rocky Horror), to the rebirth of the art form in the Nineties (Bat Boy), and up to the present, exploring where we've been and where we might be heading. This is a celebration of the counter-culture taking center stage in the most American of performing arts, and changing it forever.
Shows discussed in the book include The Wild Party, Grease, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, I Love My Wife, Bat Boy, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, High Fidelity, The Capeman, bare, Taboo, Jersey Boys, Next to Normal, Edges, Spring Awakening, Passing Strange, Love Kills, Glory Days, Rooms, American Idiot, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.