Course Offerings

courses > 2023 fall

Broadway Musicals in the 21st Century

THAR 1272.401

crosslisted as:
CIMS 1275; ENGL 1891
Monday & Wednesday 1:45pm to 3:15pm

Wicked, Spring Awakening, Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown. And of course, Hamilton. The innovations we see in Broadway musicals since 2000 are particularly fascinating in that they, so to speak, boldly go where no musicals have gone before—while at the same time honoring and building on the long-standing traditions of this beloved form. From the powerfully romantic Light in the Piazza, which nods to roots in European operetta, to the boundary-defying Black queerness of A Strange Loop... and everything in between. In this course, we will go year by through musical theater from the quarter-century, to see where the form has gone recently… and where it’s headed. In addition to the works already mentioned, we’ll look at Caroline or Change, The Color Purple, In the Heights, Fun Home, and more. This course will also consider some recent “revisals,” like director Daniel Fish’s Oklahoma!, and Marianne Elliott’s gender-reassigned Company: reinterpretations of classic American musicals that imagine them in more contemporary light.

In Fall 2023, Broadway Musicals in the 21st Century will be co-taught by Theatre Arts faculty member David Fox along with Cameron Kelsall, a Philadelphia-based arts journalist with specialties in theatre and music. David and Cameron are critical colleagues and also frequent writing partners: specifically on musical theater, but also film and opera. Their conversational reviews appear frequently in the international arts blog Parterre Box, and individually and collectively they have written for the New York Times, American Theatre, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, TheaterMania, Bachtrack, Exeunt NYC, and many others. They jointly maintain an arts blog at