Spotlighting iconic musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and La La Land alongside smaller films like La BambaOnce, and Dancer in the Dark, this book demonstrates the flexibility and durability of the genre, as it takes steps to preserve its relevance for new generations and new cultures. Putting Asian and European movie musicals in conversation with their Hollywood counterparts, it examines how the genre references its own history while mediating between a nostalgic impulse and an embrace of new technologies.

It also challenges stereotypes of the musical as merely a form of escapism by examining how many of these films engage with social issues and foreground the experiences of women, immigrants and people of color.

This broad-ranging study of the genre helps to explain why the movie musical still gets audiences across the world tapping their feet and singing along.

About the Author

Desirée J. Garcia is Associate Professor in the Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies Program and an affiliate in the Film and Media Studies Department at Dartmouth College. She is the author of The Migration of Musical Film: From Ethnic Margins to American Mainstream (Rutgers, 2014). She has also published numerous articles on the transnational histories of musical film, ethnic performance, and spectatorship in the Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Film History, the Journal of American Ethnic History, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. Her forthcoming book is under contract with Rutgers University Press and is entitled, The Dressing Room: Backstage Stories and American Film. She has a PhD in American Studies from Boston University and BA in History from Wellesley College, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Garcia has also worked as an Associate Producer for American Experience/PBS. and starred in the first feature film by director Damien Chazelle (La La Land), the original musical film called Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009).