From Joe Sendhall@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 1 21:55:10 2019
This might be something of a move away from the topic of the
group. If so, I apologize. The question just sort of popped
into my head and I thought to post it.
Humorist Finley Peter Dunne once wrote that the newspapers
"comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable". I first
heard that quote in relation to art in general. It seems to
be one of those quotes that people apply to any cultural
entity that is deemed important.
Of the theatrical productions I've seen, most have been
non-musical plays, a relative minority have been musicals,
and a few have been operas. The vast majority of all of
them have had a focus on entertainment. Most of the plays
that I have seen that try to fulfill Dunne's quote have
been college productions where risky productions are
encouraged to help the learning process. Outside of that
there have been musicals like Fun Home and Hamilton, but
mostly everything hews towards the safer option of being
pure entertainment rather than being something of
societal import, either in part or in whole.
So, with the above in mind and mostly just for the sake
of a thought experiment, what would need to happen to
make musical theatre something that truly comforts the
afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Is it even
possible? Theatre in general seems to have slowly become
something of a niche. There appears to be no longer a
particular art form that crosses all the cultural lines
(well, in America at any rate). Assuming that is true,
perhaps what I am suggesting is not possible. If it
was possible, however, how would it work?
Apologies again if this is considered inappropriate for
the group. In addition, my Usenet server doesn't have
all the messages in this group, so if I'm duplicating
someone else's post, I apologize for that as well.