1920s Broadway: The Women Behind The Scenes

Picture the Roaring Twenties at its height. Everything about the scene is loud and imposing, colorful and vibrant, daring and flashy. The women are dressed like never before, exploring the limits of their sexual freedom by wearing shorter and shinier skirts, more feathers and more attitude. All standards are turned on their heads as new painting, new music, new writing, and new social expectations flood America’s cities. These new ways of seeing the world cross paths at every social gathering, but all accumulate together on the stages along Broadway in Manhattan.american girl

Broadway musicals are all essentially love stories. In the vein of all love stories, they both celebrate the feminine through extensive appreciation (almost entirely commentary on physical appearance) and demean the feminine by showing it to be predictable, weak, and confused. The main goal is usually still marriage. However, historical context is key to these musicals, and the idea of the contemporary love story is more important than ever. And for the first time, producers had to consider their audience differently. During the 1920s, a record number of white single women held jobs as typists and assistants in the rise of corporate America, especially in New York City.

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