Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: 'A chance for stage folks to say "hello"' : entertainment and theatricality in 'Kiss Me, Kate'
Author: Robbins, Hannah M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 471X
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
As Cole Porter’s most commercially successful Broadway musical, Kiss Me, Kate (1948) has been widely acknowledged as one of several significant works written during ‘the Golden age’ period of American musical theatre history. Through an in-depth examination of the genesis and reception of this musical and discussion of the extant analytical perspectives on the text, this thesis argues that Kiss Me, Kate has remained popular as a result of its underlying celebration of theatricality and of entertainment. Whereas previous scholarship has suggested that Porter and his co-authors, Sam and Bella Spewack, attempted to emulate Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (1943) by creating their own ‘integrated musical’, this thesis demonstrates how they commented on contemporary culture, on popular art forms, and the sanctity of Shakespeare and opera in deliberately mischievous ways. By mapping the influence of Porter and the Spewacks’ previous work and their deliberate focus on theatricality and diversion in the development of this work, it shows how Kiss Me, Kate forms part of a wider trend in Broadway musicals. As a result, this study calls for a new analytical framework that distinguishes musicals like Kiss Me, Kate from the persistent methodologies that consider works exclusively through the lens of high art aesthetics. By acknowledging Porter and the Spewacks' reflexive celebration of and commentary on entertainment, it advocates a new position for musical theatre research that will encourage the study of other similar stage and screen texts that incorporate themes from, and react to, the popular cultural sphere to which they belong.
Supervisor: McHugh, Dominic Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available