Last year, my dad (author of the award-winning two-volume set: The American Musical and the Formation of National Identity and The American Musical and the Performance of Personal Identity) asked me to collaborate with him on a proposed article about the growing trend of letter-writing-as-songs in musical theater, and how that device collapses both space and time within a song. I of course said yes because that sounded super fun and cool and if you think I'm being sarcastic, you don't know me very well.
After many many drafts, revisions, killings of our darlings (sorry Daddy Long Legs, we were very proud of what we wrote about you), I am proud to announce that our article, "Going Postal: Collapsing time and space through sung letters in Broadway musicals," is now published in Studies in Musical Theatre.
The article covers the early markers of this trend, She Loves Me and 1776, traveling through Passion and culminating in the more recent examples in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen (with quick drop-ins on Sondheim's frequent indulging of this temporality in Pacific Overtures, Assassins, and others).
Check it out here!