Musicals stood at the center of American culture for much of the twentieth century. They not only generated tunes and tales that became the hits of their day, but also commented on the ever-shifting social and political landscape. Rather than offer a comprehensive survey, this course explores the musical artistry and cultural resonances of the American musical through a cluster of shows that confront issues of race, ethnicity, politics, immigration, and globalization. The course places an emphasis on compositional style through the development critical listening and analysis skills. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2019-20).