This chapter returns to the larger context of the American musical in the last part of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. It surveys other musicals of the 1970s and 1980s that, like Sondheim’s, explore postmodern themes through postmodern techniques. It also looks at several musicals of the 1990s and 2000s—such shows as Parade, Floyd Collins, A Man of No Importance, Rent, and See What I Wanna See—influenced by Sondheim’s body of work, that, like his recent work, wrestle with the problem of acknowledging our immersion in language while seeking to point to a reality beyond language.
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