19 Uhr
Salon des ehem. Palais Dürckheim, Cranachstraße 47, Weimar

Musical Television: Smash and the Broadway Musical on TV Vortrag von Jane Feuer

I want to explore the ways in which Smash (NBC, 2012-13) was not just "theatrical", it was quite literally theater and it took on an afterlife as theater. Smash actually evolved into a Broadway musical when the show within the show took on a life of its own in 2015. Although some have considered the theatricality of post-Sopranos television drama to be historically important as a form of competition for the internet, I have a different ax to grind. For me, the continuity of a tradition of the "backstager" is an even more outstanding feature of 20th and 21st century popular culture. Glee had a 1963 television show within a 2011 television show. Yet the live theatrical internal show continued to thrive in theater and in cinema. The compelling nature of live performance persisted as an intertext for film and television long after theater had ceased to be a dominant medium in popular culture.
This book has attempted to trace shifting definitions of theatricality through the genre of quality drama, a genre that is also televisual and cinematic. And yet television began as a means of showing theater plays to that elite audience who could afford television sets. And so my survey ends with the curious development that on June 8, 2015, 1700 theatergoers were fortunate to buy tickets to the semi-staged presentation of a Broadway show that originated as the show-within-the-show on a backstage musical on NBC that an audience of 11.4 million was fortunate to watch for free in exchange for exposing themselves to advertising. Theatricality, I hope to have shown, structured the genre of quality drama as I have constructed its boundaries and traced its shifting meanings. But Smash was something even more than the theatrical: it was theater at every level .