Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit
& The Biggest Flop, 1959 to 2009
by Peter Filichia (Applause Books)
This extremely enjoyable volume treats readers to detailed and often
surprising accounts of the most and least successful Broadway musical of
each year from 1959 to 2009. Filichia is one of the wittiest theatre
critics of our time, and his passion, humor and eloquence shine through
every page here. No matter how much you think you already know
about these musicals, you are guaranteed to find something new here, and
to have a grand time too.
The Hammersteins: A Musical Theatre Family
by Oscar Andrew Hammerstein (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers)
Richly illustrated, thoroughly researched and beautifully written this
long overdue and utterly delightful history of the Hammerstein
theatrical dynasty comes from a grandson of beloved lyricist Oscar
II. The text is packed with fascinating details, all related with a
refreshing balance of affection and honesty. This handsome volume is a
must-have for any serious theatre lover.
Kaufman & Co. - Broadway Comedies
George S. Kaufman (Library of America)
There is a sensual pleasure in encountering such a shamelessly
well-published volume. The real bonus is that there's even deeper
pleasure within, with nine of George S. Kaufman's finest scripts --
including the long out of print librettos for Animal Crackers and
Of Thee I Sing. After seven decades, they are still a delight
to read. If for any unthinkable reason you are not already familiar
with The Royal Family, Dinner At Eight or that peerless
laughfest The Man Who Came to Dinner,
they are handsomely presented here in an edition designed to outlast a
lifetime. At $35, you're only paying less than four bucks per play --
less than the cost of paperback acting editions that won't last half as
long. Well worth the investment!
One More Kiss
The Broadway Musicals of the 1970s
by Ethan Mordden (Palgrave MacMillan)
The latest addition to Mordden's series covering the musical decades of
the 20th Century is a theatre lovers delight. Even when you find
yourself disagreeing violently with the author's opinions (and, doubt it
not -- you will), it is a pleasure to see anyone discuss musicals with
such eloquent enthusiasm. The detailed discussions of Follies, Annie
and A Chorus Line are fascinating, and Morrden's assessment of
more obscure works is even more valuable.
The Rise and Fall of the Broadway Musical
by Mark N. Grant
And lo, an honest voice was heard! Composer-author Mark N. Grant examines
the artistic aspects of stage musicals past and present with passionate insight, making
this the most important and provocative book on musical theatre in more than a decade. What an
eye opener! The effect of sound systems, rock grooves, multiple producers -- so many
hot button issues no one else has been willing to tackle in print get detailed,
thoroughly researched coverage here. Be forewarned, Grant
may tick you off -- and if so, it is high time someone did! Even the sections that
get into musicology (a subject that often flies way over my head) held my attention.
This is a must-read for anyone who cares about Broadway musicals, a book that will
be discussed for years to come.
Playing Gay in Hollywood From Edison to Stonewall
by Richard Barrios (Routledge)
The author of the landmark musical film study A Song in the Dark offers
an equally delightful treat in this detailed examination of gay images
seen in Hollywood films up to the early 1970s. Film lovers will find
fascinating tidbits, illuminating insights, and dozens of rare stills.
The author's passion for vintage film fills every page, and his gift for
creating clear, enjoyable prose is all too rare today. If you love
movies, Screened Out is one pleasure you can't afford to pass on.
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