Astaire, Rogers, and the Art Deco Dream
Virtual Talk Published Jan 13th 2023
Glistening dance floors, star-lit skies, sequined gowns, white tie and tails—and the sleek, witty, romantic songs of the age. We have the hard edges of tapping yet the dances and singing are also open and airy. This is the Art Deco sensibility at play in American popular music.
About Michael Lasser
Michael Lasser is a writer, speaker, teacher, and critic. He is the author of three books: America’s Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley (co-written with Philip Furia), America’s Songs II: From the 1890s to the Post-War Years, and City Songs and American Life, 1900-1950. From 1980-2021, he was the host of the nationally syndicated public radio show, Fascinatin’ Rhythm, winner of a 1994 Peabody Award. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he is the former theater critic for the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and CITY, and for 35 years has appeared at museums, universities, and performing arts centers around the country. He currently appears in performance with singers Jessica Ann Best and Alan Jones. In 2010, he was named a Thomas P. Johnson Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Rollins College. He is currently at work on two books on American music, tentatively titled I Hear America’s Song: Popular Music and American Identity and There Goes That Song Again: The Persistence of the Great American Songbook. He taught for forty years, including thirty-two of them at The Harley School in Rochester, NY.