23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List

Broadway authors this season include Chita Rivera, Mandy Gonzalez, and more!

By: Apr. 02, 2023
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Need a great book to spring into the new season? This spring, Broadway's best have put pen to paper to turn out theatre page-turners of every kind. From theatre biographies to theatre fiction; theatre books for kids to theatre history; check out our collection of 23 new Broadway books for every theatre lover's spring reading list.

Check out recent releases and view upcoming books for later this year!

23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Theatre Spaces 1920-2020: Finding the Fun in Functionalism

by Iain Mackintosh
Available Now

In this lavishly illustrated hands-on account of the creation of new theatre spaces spanning a century, Iain Mackintosh offers a compelling history that is part memoir, part impassioned call to rethink the design of our theatre spaces and the future of live theatre. As the originator of theatre designs as diverse as the Cottesloe in 1977, Glyndebourne in 1994, the Orange Tree Theatre in 1991, the Martha Cohen Theatre in 1985 and the Tina Packer Playhouse in 2001, he discovered why the same show worked in some theatres but not in others.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know

by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Nicolette Robinson
Available Now

The love we feel for our children never wavers. From the moment a baby is born, through the good times and the bad, from the silly moments to the warm embraces, this love is bigger than what we can put into words. This beautiful book is a comforting and lyrical refrain about the bonds we form with the children to whom we are closest in our lives.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Musical Theatre For Dummies

by Seth Rudetsky
Available Now

Do you want to know more about the fascinating history of Broadway musicals, the stars of yesterday and today, and what goes on behind the curtain of a musical production? In Musical Theater For Dummies, Broadway insider and host of Sirus/XM Radio's ON BROADWAY channel Seth Rudetsky takes you backstage and reveals everything you want to know (and what you didn't know you wanted to know) about life in the theatre. How did musical theatre begin? How did Broadway stars become stars? How can you launch your own musical theatre path, whether in a school musical, community theatre, or on a path toward Broadway? Get answers to all these questions along with tons more insight from the unofficial "mayor of Broadway."

-Learn the history of musical theater and discover the stories of shows that have run for years ... or closed before opening night!
-Trace the development of productions, from the initial idea all the way through opening night and beyond
-Discover what it takes to make a musical come together, from pit musicans, stage managers, and swings to designers, casting directors, and more.
-Get insider advice on the skills you need to perform in professional or amateur musical theater productions
-Whether you're completely new to musical theatre or have a few Tony awards displayed over your fireplace, this is the book for you. Enjoy real-life anecdotes shared with the author by Broadway's biggest stars as you become a musical theater know-it-all.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Master of the House: The Theatres of Cameron Mackintosh

by Michael Coveney
Available Now

Cameron Mackintosh is London's West End's leading theatrical producer of musicals such as Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. He is also a significant theatre owner and has completed a two-decade campaign of refurbishment and rebuilding of eight London theatres, at his own personal cost of £250m, that has set the tempo for maintaining one of Britain's greatest cultural heritages for the next century, the West End theatre in the heart of the nation's artistic life. Master of the House charts the histories of these eight iconic London buildings; their origins, their stories, the iconic shows and productions, the stars and the glamour. Lavishly illustrated with images from the Delfont Mackintosh archive, the book also contains original architect plans and drawings, specially-commissioned photographs of the refurbishment, show posters and other theatre ephemera, and many sweeping panoramas of the exquisitely finished spaces.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Careful the Spell You Cast: How Stephen Sondheim Extended the Range of the American Musical

by Ben Francis
Available Now

Stephen Sondheim is one of the best-known and most-loved musical theatre composers, but also one of the most misunderstood, often being labelled as 'distant' or 'cynical'. Careful the Spell You Cast instead argues that Sondheim firmly belongs to the Broadway aspirational tradition, in that many of his characters are defined by their dreams: to abandon one's dream (as Ben does in Follies, Frank does in Merrily We Roll Along, and Addison does in Road Show) is to lose one's soul.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Love Is Love Is Love: Broadway Musicals and LGBTQ Politics, 2010-2020

by Aaron C. Thomas
Available Now

Through analyses of Promises, Promises, Newsies, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Color Purple, and Frozen, this book attempts to move past the question of representationalpolitics and asks us instead to think in more complex ways about LGBTQ identity, what LGBTQ politics are, and the politics of Broadway musicals themselves. Producing new, complex readings of all five of these musicals, author Aaron C. Thomas places each of them within the context of the LGBTQ politics of their day. Some of the issues the book treats are controversies of casting, the closetedness and openness of musical theatre, LGBTQ identities, adaptation from movies into musicals, and the special power of the musical form by examining how these shows differ from the books and movies on which they're based.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Hamilton and Me: An Actor's Journal

by Giles Terera
Available Now

When Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton opened in London's West End in December 2017, it was as huge a hit as it had been in its original production off- and on Broadway. Lauded by critics and audiences alike, the show would go on to win a record-equaling seven Olivier Awards-including Best Actor in a Musical for Giles Terera, for his portrayal of Aaron Burr. For Terera, though, his journey as Burr had begun more than a year earlier, with his first audition in New York, and continuing through extensive research and preparation, intense rehearsals, previews and finally opening night itself. Throughout this time he kept a journal, recording his experiences of the production and his process of creating his award-winning performance. This book, Hamilton and Me, is that journal.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Around the Globe: Behind the Scenes at Shakespeare's Theatre

by Ed Behrens
Available Now

Shakespeare's Globe is a reconstruction of The Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse for which Shakespeare wrote his plays, on the south bank of the Thames. The original theater was built in 1599 and demolished in 1644. Shakespeare's Globe was founded by actor and director Sam Wanamaker, built close to the original theater and opened to the public in 1997. The site also includes the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, an indoor theater opened in 2014. Around the Globe offers a unique view of the theater's backstage life, props, wardrobe collections and rehearsal spaces, all captured by Angela Moore's stunning photographs. Shakespeare's Globe attracts a million visitors a year across its two theaters, engages 120,000 people annually through education projects, and shares its work by touring nationally and internationally.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Broadway Baby

by Russell Miller and Judith A. Proffer
Available on April 4, 2023

Our leading role, Baby, dreams of becoming a star. Those dreams take us on a theatrical journey from his crib to the playground to the heart of New York City, with nods to many elements that make live theater so special. Through beautiful illustrations, this picture book celebrates the importance of how theater inspires creativity. It encourages children and Broadway lovers of all ages to create and be whatever you want to be, whoever you are, wherever you are, and reminds the reader that even the loftiest of dreams can come true, celebrating the importance of theatre and creativity - inclusive and accessible.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List In the Mix: Fearless Series 3

by Mandy Gonzalez
Available on April 4, 2023

Better Nate than Ever meets Love Sugar Magic in this sweet third novel in the Fearless middle grade series from Hamilton and Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez about a young thespian who feels caught between his love of baking and theatre. Twelve-year-old Hudson Patel has two great loves: Broadway and baking! In addition to giving his all to his role in the hit show Our Time, Hudson takes pride in keeping his castmates and fellow Fearless Squad members well-fed with all the delicious treats he creates.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Blanche: The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams's Greatest Creation

by Nancy Schoenberger
Available on April 4, 2023

In Blanche, Nancy Schoenberger searches for the answer. An exploration of the cultural impact of Blanche DuBois, Schoenberger's absorbing study examines Tennessee Williams's most enduring creation through the performances of seven brilliant actresses who have taken on the role-Jessica Tandy, Vivien Leigh, Ann-Margret, Jessica Lange, Patricia Clarkson, Cate Blanchett, and Jemier Jackson-as well as the influence of the playwright's tragic sister, Rose Williams, the person he was most haunted and inspired by. In examining various Blanches from throughout the decades and their critical reception, Schoenberger analyzes how our perception and understanding of this mesmerizing figure has altered and deepened over time. Exploring themes of womanhood, sexuality, mental illness, and the idealized South, Blanche is an engrossing cultural history of a rich and complex character that sheds light on who we are.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List True West: Sam Shepard's Life, Work, and Times

by Robert Greenfield
Available on April 11, 2023

Much like Robert Greenfield's biographies of Jerry Garcia and Timothy Leary, this book delves deeply into Shepard's life as well as the ways in which his work illuminates it. True West takes readers through the world of downtown theater in Lower Manhattan in the early sixties; the jazz scene at New York's Village Gate; fringe theater in London in the seventies; Bob Dylan's legendary Rolling Thunder tour; the making of classic films like Zabriskie Point, Days of Heaven, and The Right Stuff; and Broadway productions of Buried Child, True West, and Fool for Love.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List From Craft to Career: A Casting Director's Guide for the Actor

by Merri Sugarman and Tracy Moss
Available on April 20, 2023

Practical, positive and uplifting, the advice in this book is designed to lead to the best outcomes possible for you, the actor, making the transition from craft to career. The reader is given insight into the various types of casting directors across the industry and how that practical knowledge can benefit you and increase your chance of success. While providing an in-depth insight into the role of the casting director, this book explains the jobs of all the other people involved in the casting process - including producers, network executives, writers - and how they influence casting decisions. As the collected wisdom Merri Sugarman's 20+ years of experience in different aspects of professional casting within television, film and theater, this book is a treasure trove of advice to help the actors and those who support them in their career goals, learn what it takes to be a pro. For those who choose to make their craft a career, it's an invaluable resource.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Barbra Streisand: the Music, the Albums, the Singles

by Matt Howe
Available on April 24, 2023

On February 25, 1963, Columbia Records released The Barbra Streisand Album. The first song was "Cry Me a River," and with that a star was born. Barbra Joan Streisand had a zany personality backed by a talent that Stephen Sondheim once described as "one of the two or three best voices in the world of singing songs," adding "It's not just her voice but her intensity, her passion and control." Harold Arlen, another of her favorite composers, commented, "This young lady . . . has a stunning future." With all-male rock groups like the Beatles, The Beach Boys, and the Four Seasons ruling the charts, no one expected a twenty-year-old female singer from Brooklyn to not just hit No. 1, but repeat that accomplishment every decade that followed all the way to the next millennium and become the best-selling female recording artist of all time. Now, for the first time ever, comes the definitive book on the extensive recording career of this towering cultural icon, the Funny Girl considered by many to be the most talented singer of her generation. Barbra Streisand: The Albums | The Singles | The Music takes readers on a journey through every album, soundtrack, and single Streisand has released.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Chita: A Memoir

by Chita Rivera
Available on April 25, 2023

She was born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero-until the entertainment world renamed her. But Dolores-the irreverent side of the sensual, dark and ferocious Chita-was always present center stage, and was influential in creating some of Broadway most iconic and acclaimed roles, including Anita in West Side Story‚ the part that made her a star-Rosie in Bye Bye, Birdie, Velma in Chicago, and Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Written in gratitude to her longstanding fans and with the hope that new generations may learn from her extraordinary experience, Chita takes us behind the curtain to reveal the highs and lows of one extraordinary showbusiness career-the creative fermentation, the ego clashes, the miraculous discoveries, the exhilaration when it all went right, and the disappointment when it all went wrong. Chita invites us into workrooms and rehearsal studies, on stage and on set as she works with some of the greatest talents of the age, including Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, Bob Fosse, Jerome Robbins, Hal Prince, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr, Gwen Verdon, Shirley MacLaine, and many others. We also learn deeply moving, revelatory details about her upbringing and her heritage, and how they indelibly shaped her work and career.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Dance on the American Musical Theatre Stage: A History

by Ray Miller
Available on May 17, 2023

Dance on the American Musical Theatre Stage: A History chronicles the development of dance, with an emphasis on musicals and the Broadway stage, in the United States from its colonial beginnings to performances of the present day. This book explores the fascinating tug-and-pull between the European classical, folk, and social dance imports and America's indigenous dance forms as they met and collided on the popular musical theatre stage. This historical background influenced a specific musical theatre movement vocabulary and a unique choreographic approach that is recognizable today as Broadway-style dancing. Throughout the book, a cultural context is woven into the history to reveal how the competing values within American culture, and its attempts as a nation to define and redefine itself, played out through developments in dance on the musical theatre stage.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Here for the Hearing: Analyzing the Music in Musical Theater

by Michael Buchler and Gregory John Decker
Available on May 22, 2023

This book offers a series of essays that show the integrated role that musical structure (including harmony, melody, rhythm, meter, form, and musical association) plays in making sense of what transpires onstage in musicals. Written by a group of music analysts who care deeply about musical theater, this collection provides new understanding of how musicals are put together, how composers and lyricists structure words and music to complement one another, and how music helps us understand the human relationships and historical and social contexts. Using a wide range of musical examples, representing the history of musical theater from the 1920s to the present day, the book explores how music interacts with dramatic elements within individual shows and other pieces within and outside of the genre. These essays invite readers to consider issues that are fundamental both to our understanding of musical theater and to the multiple ways we engage with music.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List I'll Drink to That!: Broadway's Legendary Stars, Classic Shows, and the Cocktails They Inspired

by Laurence Maslon
Available on May 23, 2023

We'd like to propose a toast...to Broadway! Learn the spirited history of drinking on stage (and off) and how to make cocktails inspired by the most iconic shows from Broadway. Broadway has always raised a glass to celebrate itself-what's an opening night without popping the cork of a bottle of Champagne? I'll Drink to That! Broadway's Legendary Stars, Classic Shows, and the Cocktails They Inspired is a celebration of theatrical tradition, a souvenir of magic moments on stage, and a practical guide to concocting one-of-a-kind craft cocktail recipes inspired by the classics of the American stage.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List A Fine Romance: Adapting Broadway to Hollywood in the Studio System Era

by Geoffrey Block
Available on May 31, 2023

How do we compare a Broadway musical to its Hollywood counterpart? A Fine Romance: Adapting Broadway to Hollywood in the Studio System Era answers this question by exploring the symbiotic relationship between a dozen Broadway musicals and their Hollywood film adaptations. From enduring classics like Oklahoma!, Brigadoon, and West Side Story to lesser-known gems such as Cabin in the Sky, Call Me Madam, and Silk Stockings, author Geoffrey Block examines some of the best loved stage and screen musicals of all time as well as neglected works that deserve our attention and respect.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Gays on Broadway

by Ethan Mordden
Available on June 1, 2023

From the genteel female impersonators of the 1910s to the raucous drag queens of La Cage Aux Folles, from the men of The Normal Heart to the women of Fun Home, and from Eva Le Gallienne and Tallulah Bankhead to Tennessee Williams and Nathan Lane, Gays On Broadway deftly chronicles the plays and people that brought gay culture to Broadway. Writing with his customary verve and wit, author Ethan Mordden follows the steady liberation of gay themes on the American stage. The story begins in the early twentieth century, when gay characters were virtually banned from productions. The 1920s saw a flurry of plays closed on moral grounds as well as the Wales Padlock Act, which forbade representation of "sex degeneracy". While authorities made consistent attempts to shutter the movement, the public remained curious, and after a few decades of war making, a truce broke out when The Boys In the Band became a national smash hit. From this point on, gay theatre proved simply too popular to abolish.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List When the British Musical Ruled the World

by Robert Sellers
Available on June 1, 2023

In this revealing behind-the-scenes narrative, journalist and author Robert Sellers gives a definitive account of how Evita, Cats, Starlight Express, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Chess, and Miss Saigon changed the business of musical theater in the 1980s. These mega productions of the were larger than life, colorful, and spectacular. Sellers collects insightful, personal stories from cast members, set designers, musical supervisors, dancers, lighting designers, production managers, singers, and choreographers from the shows that finally put Broadway on its back foot. He also describes the backstage drama, production nightmares, and financial woes that threatened to derail the shows at multiple points. Whatever obstacles they faced, though, these productions swept the world and transformed the face of musical theater in ways that still resound today.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Historical Dictionary of Vaudeville (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts)

by James Fisher
Available on June 15, 2023

Vaudeville, as it is commonly known today, began as a response to scandalous variety performances appealing mostly to adult, male patrons. When former minstrel performer and balladeer Tony Pastor opened the Fourteenth Street Theatre in New York in 1881, he was guided by a mission to provide family-friendly variety shows in hopes of drawing in that portion of the audience - women and children - otherwise inherently excluded from variety bills prior to 1881. There he perfected a framework for family-oriented amusements of the highest obtainable quality and style.


23 Theater Books for Your Spring 2023 Reading List Weill, Blitzstein, and Bernstein: A Study of Influence

by Professor Rebecca Schmid
Available on June 20, 2023

Weill, Blitzstein, and Bernstein: A Study of Influence focuses on works that represent different phases of Weill's mission to renew the genre of opera, evolving from Die Dreigroschenoper to the musical play Lady in the Dark and the Broadway Opera Street Scene. Blitzstein and Bernstein in turn defied formal boundaries with The Cradle Will Rock, Regina, Trouble in Tahiti, Candide, and West Side Story - part of a short-lived movement in mid-twentieth century America that coincided with a renaissance for Weill's German-period works following the premiere of Blitzstein's translation, The Threepenny Opera, under Bernstein's baton. The unpublished A Pray by Blecht, for which Bernstein rejoined Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins, his collaborators on West Side Story, deepens the connection of Bernstein's aesthetic to Weill.