Tune in to the Arts File on WQXR: Cote on Historical Shows

If you wake up with the clock radio set to WQXR, check out The Arts File at 8:30am tomorrow. I'll be on, talking about three Broadway offerings that happen to be about historical subjects: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Scottsboro Boys (above) and . You couldn't find three superficially more diverse works, but they actually have much in common: They're all freewheeling revisionist tales in which history is not so much a thing to be recreated as caricatured and interrogated. If you want to sound academic about, all three shows are about performing history, making it seem grotesque, bizarre, banal or just plain random. They also cover an epochal span—1801 to the 1950s—essentially, from the Louisiana Purchase to Rosa Parks. The early days of the American republic, slavery, states' rights, Manifest Destiny, the genocide of Native Americans, Jim Crow—it's a lot of territory.

Check out the broadcast, online here.