re: What are the best coffee table books on broadway topics these days?

buddharich
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/07
I love love love those oversized coffee table books aobut specific shows, or picture books, about musicals and/or plays. Those playbill yearbooks are amazing! the books on Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins, The Sound Of Music, Mamma Mia!, Broadway Musicals, How Does The Show Go On?, etc. (why no coffee table books on Spring Awakening, The Drowsy Chaperone, Gypsy (a complete history), etc.?) - anybody have The South Pacific Companion? Is it worth purchasing??
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
There's a Spring Awakening book coming out.
There should be a Gypsy one AND a Follies one AND a Grey Gardens one, but those are just dreams.
Despite the fact that I wasn't the biggest fan of the show, the recent Mary Poppins book was quite lovely, despite the fact that the author called Clive Barnes the dean of drama critics or something like that.
The Ken Bloom Broadway Musicals: 101 Greatest Shows book is quite excellent, especially in its revised paperback edition featuring Grey Gardens and Sunday in the Park with George. Where Piazza, Nine and Pacific Overtures are I don't know, but it's still loaded with fabulous pictures and excellent, informative text.
I'm happy to tell everyone a Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein tome is coming out this holiday season. There is already a book by Ockie (read Hugh Fordin's book on him and you'll start calling him that, I swear) himself called Lyrics, but this is complete. The other volume, despite its brilliant essay on lyric writing and introduction by his friend and teacher, Stephen Sondheim, only features his select favorite lyrics.
Anyone know if a similar volume is in store for Comden and Green or Fred Ebb?
singtopher
Broadway Legend
joined:12/28/05
I have the Playbill At This Theatre book on my table.
"If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it." -Stephen Colbert
once a month
Broadway Legend
joined:4/16/04
My favorite four, in no particular order are:

Broadway Day & Night: Backstage and Behind the Scenes by Ken Marsolais, Rodger McFarlane and Tom Viola (great stories and pic)

Broadway The American Musical by Michael Kantor and Laurence Maslon-the companion volume to the wonderful PBS series

Broadway Musicals
More Broadway Musicals Since 1980, both volumes by Martin Gottfried
ashley0139
Broadway Legend
joined:1/3/05
Yes, I also love the Broadway the American Musical one. There is SO MUCH good info in there.

The Aida one is decent. It has a good description of the evolution of the show.

Of course, the RENT one is amazing.
"This table, he is over one hundred years old. If I could, I would take an old gramophone needle and run it along the surface of the wood. To hear the music of the voices. All that was said." - Doug Wright, I Am My Own Wife
wickedmenzel318
Stand-by
joined:10/13/05
What are all the shows that have a coffee table book?
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Broadway: The American musical is great, as is the Mary Poppins book. I also love the Playbill yearbooks.
TheActr97J
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/05
Broadway: The American Musical is on my coffee table.
"I seem to have wandered into the BRAIN load-out thread... "
-best12bars

"Sorry I am a Theatre major not a English Major"
-skibumb5290

pushdabutton
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/05
I would love to see one for In The Heights.
Weez
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/05
Get Amy Arbus's 'The Fourth Wall'. I unpacked it at the bookshop I worked in one day, and the poor thing never made it to the shopfloor. I knew I HAD to have it the instant I saw it. Beautiful creature!
musicaltheater1
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/05
They're quite a good read:

1. Spring Awakening - In The Flesh - Great OBC pictures and has the entire book and lyrics.
2. Hey Mr. Producer! The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh
3. Miss Saigon - Nice history of the production and pre/post production pictures. A must have for Saigon fans.
4. Playbill "At This Theater" - History of theaters on Broadway
"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Oscar Wilde
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." Aldous Huxley
Raviolisun
Broadway Legend
joined:8/22/06
I LOVE The Fourth Wall.

I also (quite embarrassingly) own The Grimmerie and the Rent bible.
One time, Patti LuPone punched me in the face...


It was awesome.
- theaterkid1015
iluvny04
Stand-by
joined:7/17/03
Broadway Tails, if you like broadway and animals this book is for you. Bill Berloni tells stories of most of the animals hes worked with from Sandy in Annie(the one that started his career as broadway's go to Animal guy) to the Brusier's of Legally Blonde. The Sandy story by far is perhaps the most touching.
Updated On: 9/14/08 at 05:05 PM
musicalmaster703
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/08
I second In the Heights
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
GYPSY needs a big-ass coffee table book from Merman to LuPone. If any show has enough material to fill a book, it's that.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Okay, I'll be the first geek to say it...

The Wicked "Grimmerie" is wonderful. Very well done, with incredible photos from several productions, as well as the original Oz book, etc.

From an art direction standpoint, it's pretty fantastic.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Raviolisun
Broadway Legend
joined:8/22/06
I agree Besty. It's a gorgeous book. HUGE pictures, too.
One time, Patti LuPone punched me in the face...


It was awesome.
- theaterkid1015
puppet
Stand-by
joined:1/11/08
The AVE Q fuzzy orange book is great with lost of information on the show plus unused scenes. BUT BEWARE, it SHEDS. So I sprayed the front and back with 2 coats of hair spray and it doesn't shed any longer.
There is a blank white page in the front and I got Rob McClure and Maggie Lakis from the tour to sign it on that page.
Paul W. Thompson
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/07
Were those paperback volumes on "Annie" and "Cats" the first modern single-show coffee table books? (No, you can't have my "Annie" one, lol.) And was the "Les Miz" one the first to be in hardback? Then came "Phantom" and the other British invasion shows, I guess, up through "Sunset Boulevard."

"Rent," followed by "Titanic," must have kicked off the really big popularity in American shows that we see now. Or was there one for "Beauty and the Beast" that I don't have?
Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Can the Book of Mormon: Complete Book and Lyrics be counted as an informative/illustrative companion book or is it merely lyrics from the show? The cover seems nice enough for a coffee table book.
ABB2357
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/09
BROADWAY DAY & NIGHT is fantastic. Great stories and wonderful pictures.

The BOOK OF MORMON one only contains the complete book and lyrics, and it's small - not coffee table size.
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
I've recently added 'The Color Purple; A Memory Book of The Broadway Musical' to my collection, and it's wonderful!
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
TheGirlUpstairs
Understudy
joined:4/22/12
I agree with those who recommended At This Theatre and Broadway: The American Musical. Both have a lot of good information and great pictures.

I don't know if the Sondheim books (Finishing The Hat and Look, I Made A Hat) count as coffee table books, but they're fantastic as well.
JoseLee_
Understudy
joined:5/24/13
My Coffee Table Books:
Playbill Broadway Yearbooks ALL 1-9.
Rent
Wicked: A Pop-Up Compendium
Wicked: The Grimmerie
The Lion King: Pride Rock On Broadway
Beauty and the Beast: A Celebration of the Broadway Musical
The Book of Mormon: The Testament of a Broadway Musical
Chicago: The Movie and Lyrics
Newsies: Stories of the Unlikely Broadway Hit (only non-hardcover)
Avenue Q: The Book
Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons

Planning on buying many more soon.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
I have this and it's enormous and full of absolutely beautiful pictures.

http://www.playbillstore.com/brmureandup1.html
nomore.org
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
The Producers show bible/coffee table book is wonderful- the complete Broadway script, with lots of photos, pre and post production information and a ton of footnotes of alternate jokes and punchlines Brooks and company tried out. It's a must for anyone with a love of comedy, since it shows the way they fine-tuned the show's humor as much as the plot and score.

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