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Rethinking American Music$
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Tara Browner and Thomas L. Riis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042324

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042324.001.0001

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From Flatbush to Fun Home

From Flatbush to Fun Home

The Broadway Musical’s “Cozy Cottage” Trope

(p.34) 2 From Flatbush to Fun Home
Rethinking American Music

Jeffrey Magee

University of Illinois Press

The conventions and assumptions embedded in the presentation Broadway musicals for much of the twentieth century is the central concern in this chapter devoted to the “cozy cottage trope,” an aspect of the typical marriage plots embedded in many comedic genres. This trope illustrates the lasting appeal of seemingly innocent or nostalgic social images for both players and audiences over many decades. It is characteristically associated with a romantic couple envisioning through song a specific place (whether bungalow, flat, cottage, hotel room, or similar hideaway) as a sort of psychic oasis in which to “bill and coo and settle down in domestic bliss.” Magee describes this trope as one of the “distinctively American elements about the American musical.”

Keywords:   cozy cottage trope, Broadway musical, nostalgic images, marriage plot

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