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    Kaṭṭaikkūttu’s Performance Spaces
    (2021-05-24) de Bruin, Hanne M.; Rees, Sue
    Kaṭṭaikkūttu performances can be seen as examples of complex interweaving at different levels, including the use of multiple media, the ways in which the persona of an actor ‘interweaves’ or coincides with that of the character he embodies (to the extent that the division between self and acted other and between real and play at times becomes thin, and the way in which the substance of the location impacts on the medium of performance. Overnight performances are literally grounded in the soil of the village (ūr) or colony, a physical and emotional condition that contributes not only to defining locality, community and personhood within a Tamil cultural context but also to flowing over and interweaving with the substance of performance in that particular location and space. When Kaṭṭaikkūttu is taken out of its rural, overnight context and transplanted onto an urban (proscenium) stage for audiences unfamiliar with the theatre’s actual and dramatic language, this results in a certain degree of distancing of performers, medium and spectators and, consequently, diminishes the spectators’ ownership of the performance. The specific constellation of Karnatic Kaṭṭaikkūttu’s performance spaces, in particular those with racked seating, reduced the proximity of performers and spectators and the possibility for their interaction.
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    Promises, Promises Review
    (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011-03) Cantu, Maya
    A review of PROMISES, PROMISES. Book by Neil Simon. Music by Burt Bacharach. Lyrics by Hal David. Directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford. Broadway Theatre, New York City. 10 July 2010.
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    'Gilding the Guild': Art Theatre, the Broadway revue and cultural parody in The Garrick Gaieties (1925-1930)
    (Intellect Journals, 2013-03) Cantu, Maya
    The legendary Garrick Gaieties revues of the mid-1920s are credited with launching the Broadway careers of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, with developing the style of the ‘sophisticated revue’ and with establishing Rodgers’ collaboration with the Theatre Guild, which later produced Oklahoma! (1943) and Carousel (1945). Beyond these more familiar innovations, The Garrick Gaieties invites closer scrutiny for the series’ complex relationship with the Little Theatre and art theatre movements of the 1920s, as represented by the Theatre Guild. Through cultural parody satirizing both the Theatre Guild and Broadway commercialism, the creators of The Garrick Gaieties of 1925, 1926 and 1930 not only used the revue form to destabilize cultural hierarchies and address tensions concerning art and commerce, but to bridge the distinct traditions of the Broadway musical and art theatre during the culturally dynamic years of the 1920s.
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    'Clothes make an awful difference in a girl': MIIe. Modiste, Irene and Funny Face as Cinderella fashion musicals
    (Intellect Journals, 2015) Cantu, Maya
    The world of fashion has been a frequent setting for the many Broadway musicals inspired by Charles Perrault’s Cinderella (1697). Using two Broadway musicals and one Hollywood musical as cross-historical case studies, this article examines how the American musical has variously adapted and interpreted themes of ‘clothes make the woman’ by posing Cinderella as a shop girl or model in fields of consumer fashion. The 1905 Victor Herbert/Henry Blossom operetta Mlle. Modiste, and the 1919 Cinderella musical Irene (by James Montgomery, Harry Tierney and Joseph McCarthy) both assert the democratizing power of fashion. In Mlle. Modiste, the resourceful title character uses both her singing talent and her access to stylish clothing to rise in the world as an opera diva, as well as a viscount’s wife. Irene emphasizes themes of masquerade and meritocracy, as the eponymous Irish American shop girl models dresses for couturier ‘Madame Lucy’, fools high society as a pedigreed lady and marries her Prince Charming. By contrast, the 1957 Paramount movie musical Funny Face problematizes its heroine’s fashion-world makeover. While Funny Face’s narrative depicts the transformation of Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn), a bookish ‘Greenwich Village Cinderella’, into a glamorous Paris mannequin, Funny Face’s musical numbers, use strategies of camp and parody to undercut the concept of ‘The Quality Woman’.
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    "T'morra,' T'morra"': The 1940s Broadway Period Musical and Progressive Nostalgia in Bloomer Girl
    (New England Theatre Conference, 2014) Cantu, Maya
    Billed as a "Modern Musical Comedy with Old-Fashioned Charm," the Civil War-set Bloomer Girl (1944) followed Oklahoma! as part of a World War ll-era cycle of Broadway musicals steeped in period Americana. This article argues that Bloomer Girl - connecting First-wave feminism to Rosie the Riveter, and the abolitionist movement with civil rights - offered a complex vision of progressive nostalgia, advancing utopian aims of social justice that anticipate Finian's Rainbow.