Select one (1) discussion question to initially respond to.
- Conduct a web search to watch the movie trailer for Spike Lee’s film “Bamboozled.” Can you think of other American musical genres that consistently portray the performers in an unfavorable light, but remain popular and highly successful? Name one of these genres and discuss the performers and why the genre is so successful.
- After listening to “Bess, You is My Woman Now” by George Gershwin, compare and contrast Gershwin’s treatment of black Americans with that of Stephen Foster and the minstrel shows.
- “The Great American Songbook” refers to the large repertoire of songs that were written by Tin Pan Alley composers and performed by several generations of “crooners” including modern day crooners like Michael Bublé, Norah Jones, and Diana Krall. Why do you think these songs appeal to so many Americans – young and old? Do you enjoy this genre of music? If so, describe one or two of your favorite “standard tunes” and tell your classmates why they are your favorites.
- The musical Wicked has captivated the recent American audience after many critics assumed that the genre of musical theatre was dead and gone. Name the themes of this musical that resonate with modern Americans. There are several layers of appeal in this show – some aimed at the teenage audience (e.g., “Popular”) and some at the adult audience (e.g., social injustice, animal cruelty, etc.). Describe why you think this musical has been so successful nationwide.
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