This lively textbook provides a comprehensive overview of the history, theory and practice of this popular theatre form. Bringing critical theory and musical theatre together, Millie Taylor and Dominic Symonds explore the musical stage from a broad range of theoretical perspectives. Part 1 focuses on the way we understand musicals as texts and Part 2 then looks at how musical theatre negotiates its position in the wider world. Part 3 recognises the affiliations of various communities with the musical stage, and finally part 4 unravels the musical's relationship with time, space, intertextuality and entertainment. Written by leading experts in Musical Theatre and Drama, Taylor and Symonds utilise their wealth of knowledge to engage and educate the reader on this diverse subject. With its accessible and extensive content, this text is the ideal accompaniment to any study of musical theatre internationally: an essential tool for students of all levels, lecturers, practitioners and enthusiasts alike.