Enjoyed your post and glad I waited until today to write my reaction, "Bridesmaids and the Critical Hysteria Surrounding It" (in which you're cited, btw): http://kellimarshall.net/unmuzzledthoughts/film/bridesmaids. Thanks again!
What a thought-provoking article -- thanks for posting! A couple of things:
1.) "Many great musicals feature ornate costumes and choreographed dance numbers that have nothing to do with the Real World and are unapologetically Over The Top.
-- Hello, Vincente Minnelli's THE PIRATE! (Love it, btw.)
2.) "Although musicals lack the mainstream appeal of fifty-to-eighty years ago, they are obviously still being produced (sometimes at great profit) and enjoyed by women, gays and heterosexual men."
-- Yes, film musicals are still being produced but how often? (Roughly 1/year.) And are they worth watching? For instance, the latest big-budget feature-length film musical, Rob Marshall's NINE, was awful, just awful, yes?
Perhaps a more interesting consideration here would be the phenomenon of GLEE. You're thoughts on it and its potential "gayness"?
As a huge fan of film musicals as well as musical theatre, Gene Kelly in particular (!), I'll tune in to your series on the "recent life of the American musical." Glad to see it up and running...