How do we value

The artistry of this

Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Copyright to Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Paris), 2004, Concerto Köln; Susanna: Rosemary Joshua, Cherubino: Angelika Kirchschlager, Conductor: René Jacobs

Over this

Copyright to Lin Manuel Miranda and the cast and crew of Hamilton (2015); Burr: Leslie Odom, Jr., Lafayette: (The) Daveed Diggs, Washington: Christopher Jackson

Or this

Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance (originally produced 1879/1880). Copyright to the cast and crew of The Pirates of Penzance 1983 film; Frederic: Rex Smith, Ruth: Angela Lansbury, The Pirate King: Kevin Kline, Director: Wilford Leach, Producer: Joseph Papp

What is the difference between fans learning Korean to sing along at a Blackpink concert, and others memorizing European opera sung in Italian, French, Czech, Russian, or German (though certainly there are English language operas, even American ones, and certainly American composers of more classically orchestral pieces).

Copyright Off The Porch History 2021. And a bunch of other folks (read the captions).

Be a Doll

Photo courtesy of Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, and Mercury Records

Of course- America was not going to accept the New York Dolls!

Sylvain Sylvain, for Vogue November 2015

The New York Dolls.

Some of my favorites to challenge American masculinity….or at least the perception of what is American masculinity.

Cause let’s talk about 1776, and how wigs were popular. For men.

And let’s talk about General Lee. And how he was vain, and dedicated enough to his looks that he would cut his “hair, moustache, and beard” and follow the styles of the day, transitioning from “George IV curls, bushy sideburns, a matinee-idol moustache, and the [American Civil] war-era beard as soon as they came into style,” every single day from when he was sixteen to when he died, aged sixty-three.

(emphasis added, source taken from Pryor, Elizabeth B., Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters. Viking Penguin, 2007. Page 198. Elizabeth Brown Pryor is quoting Humphrey’s Autobiography, Milton Wylie Humphreys Papers at UVa. and Lee’s letter to Sam[ue?]l Frost in 1840)

So this idea of American masculinity being historically-rugged enough to never care about appearance, fashion trends, hair, or cosmetics.

Where’s the evidence?

Looking forward to the Scorsese film.

Copyright Off The Porch History 2021