This dissertation presents an analysis of the musical belt voice, especially the belt sound and its necessary vocal technique, and examines the unique actor’s personage of the elite female Broadway musical performer.
Discourses about the status of the Broadway Belt as “star” and “diva,” as well as her public reception, strongly suggest a feminist perspective. Through belting out in feminist roles on stage and speaking out on related issues offstage, she contradicts gender preconceptions.
A focused discussion on African-American belters and their roles sheds light on the intersectionality of racism and anti-feminism in Broadway musical theatre.
Finally, the study presents a musical analysis of “Rose’s Turn” in Gypsy alongside a case study of the character Rose, one of the most influential roles for a Broadway Belt.
This monograph advocates the creation of new musicals as star vehicles for Broadway belters – of any ethnicity and gender – as indispensable to guide Broadway musical theatre into its platinum age