Entries by Aaron Thomas

Sondheim and Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd

Part of The Fourth Wall series of books from Routledge   From the Back Cover Sweeney Todd, the gruesome tale of a murderous barber and his pastry chef accomplice, is unquestionably strange subject matter for the musical theatre – but eight Tony awards and enormous successes on Broadway and the West End testify to its enduring […]

The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen: Critical Approaches from Snow White to Frozen

Chapter 9: Dancing toward Masculinity: Newsies, Gender and Desire   Opening Section As the story goes, the 1992 film Newsies, directed by Kenny Ortega and starring Christian Bale, was an attempt by Disney to revitalize the live-action movie-musical genre with a story based on real events from 1899. Impoverished orphan children selling newspapers in New York […]

Making the Radical Palatable by Jacob Juntunen (review)

New Theatre Quarterly, 33.2   Opening section The argument of Jacob Juntunen’s Making the Radical Palatable is simple: that mainstream AIDS theatre—unlike the radical performances described by David Román in Acts of Intervention—was able to effect incremental change in the U.S. by diluting the radical politics of AIDS activism and aiming for ‘assimilation’ instead of […]

My Father’s Pulse

QED: a Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 3.3   Opening Section One of the first things I encountered while scouring news media outlets on the morning of June 12 were the words of a father, Siddique Mateen, outraged and upset over what his son had done, disavowing his child’s actions. “I don’t want any father to […]

Crossing (performance review)

Theatre Journal, 68.1   Opening section Two days before the new opera Crossing had its first performance at the Citi Shubert theatre in Boston, The New York Times published a piece entitled “Matthew Aucoin, Opera’s Great 25-Year-Old Hope.” The article, which introduced Crossing’s composer to Times readers, emphasized Aucoin’s abilities as a musician, conductor, and […]

Property Brothers

American Theatre, 33.3   Opening Section A comedy about the Civil War? How do you make an episode from our nation’s bloodiest conflict funny? Can a play about America’s history of slavery manage to teach audiences about a neglected part of that history and also get laughs? A Civil War comedy might not be the […]

Watching A Raisin in the Sun and Seeing Red

Modern Drama, 58.4   Abstract “Watching A Raisin in the Sun and Seeing Red” argues that, while anti-Communism has often been discussed by historiographers of African American theatre, Communism itself and the influence of the Communist Party U.S.A. as a positive force in black theatre history have largely been ignored. As a way of exploring […]

Our Lives on Stage: in the National Conversation

Asolo Program Essay, 2015-2016 Season   Opening Section Guess who’s coming to dinner? The question contains a surprise, of course, but it is also a provocation, a challenge, a test for the person who hears it. In Todd Kreidler’s play, Joanna Drayton asks her fiancé and her family to “guess who” and – as it […]

Murder Most Queer by Jordan Schildcrout (review)

Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 29.2   Opening section At the outset of Murder Most Queer, Jordan Schildcrout notes the prevalence of the criminalized, murderous, queer villain in our contemporary media. From the atrocities of Jeffrey Dahmer to the crimes passionels of Andrew Cunanan to the so-called man-hating, lesbian serial killer Aileen Wournos, newsmedia […]