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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List

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Enjoy titles from some of your favorite Broadway performers, including Sutton Foster, Billy Porter, Ali Stroker, Tovah Feldshuh and more.

There is no better time than summer to relax by the pool and curl up with a great book, and you're in luck, because this year, 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 30 new Broadway books for every theatre lover's summer reading!


30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List In the Heights: Finding Home

by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Jeremy McCarter
Available now!

In the Heights: Finding Home reunites Miranda with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, and Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist of the Broadway musical and screenwriter of the film. They do more than trace the making of an unlikely Broadway smash and a major motion picture: They give readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Live Your Life: My Story of Loving and Losing Nick Cordero

by Amanda Kloots and Anna Kloots
Available now!

In March 2020, Broadway star and Tony Award nominee Nick Cordero was hospitalized for what he and his wife, Amanda Kloots, believed to be a severe case of pneumonia. Entering the hospital, they had every reason to believe that Nick-a young father and otherwise healthy man-would return home. After an eventual diagnosis of COVID-19 that led to Nick's being placed on a ventilator, Amanda took to documenting their journey on social media, showing the dangers COVID-19 posed to everyone, regardless of age. Her updates quickly captivated millions, inspiring people around the globe to dance each day to Nick's song "Live Your Life" and offer positive thoughts and prayer. When he passed away after ninety-five grueling days in the ICU, the world grieved for Amanda, her infant son, Elvis, and the future COVID-19 had snatched away from them. Live Your Life is the story of Nick and Amanda's life together-of their beautiful relationship, of Nick's dramatic fight for survival, of those sudden tragic months that permanently changed her world and ours-and of their interrupted future as a family.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List The Chance to Fly Hardcover

by Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz
Available now!

Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there's one thing she's absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis, there's not a cast album she hasn't memorized and belted along to. She's never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on stage. Would someone like Nat ever get cast?

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Drama

by David Rockwell and Bruce Mau
Available now!

David Rockwell's fascination with theater has long informed his built work, which includes hotels, restaurants, and cultural institutions. Drama explores the core principles that Rockwell uses to enhance the impact of his architecture, with contributions from experts across the creative world - from record producer Quincy Jones to chef José Andrés. It's both an exciting new insight into the work of an important contemporary architect and a compelling case for the virtues of interdisciplinary collaboration.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I've Played

by Tovah Feldshuh
Available now!

This heartwarming and funny memoir from a beloved actress tells the story of a mother and daughter whose narrative reflects American cultural changes and the world's shifting expectations of women. From Golda to Ginsburg, Yentl to Mama Rose, Tallulah to the Queen of Mean, Tovah Feldshuh has always played powerful women who aren't afraid to sit at the table with the big boys and rule their world. But offstage, Tovah struggled to fulfill the one role she never auditioned for: Lily Feldshuh's only daughter

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way (The Sparkling Story of Broadway's Black History Heartbreaks and Triumph)

by Caseen Gaines
Available now!

Footnotes is the story of how Sissle and Blake, along with comedians Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles, overcame poverty, racism, and violence to harness the energy of the Harlem Renaissance and produce a runaway Broadway hit that launched the careers of many of the twentieth century's most beloved Black performers. Born in the shadow of slavery and establishing their careers at a time of increasing demands for racial justice and representation for people of color, they broke down innumerable barriers between Black and white communities at a crucial point in our history.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List North by Shakespeare: A Rogue Scholar's Quest for the Truth Behind the Bard's Work

by Michael Blanding
Available now!

Acclaimed author of The Map Thief, Michael Blanding presents the twinning narratives of renegade scholar Dennis McCarthy, called "the Steve Jobs of the Shakespeare community," and Sir Thomas North, an Elizabethan courtier whom McCarthy believes to be the undiscovered source for Shakespeare's plays. For the last fifteen years, McCarthy has obsessively pursued the true origins of Shakespeare's works. Using plagiarism software, he has found direct links between Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and other plays and North's published and unpublished writings-as well as Shakespearean plotlines seemingly lifted straight from North's colorful life.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List 50 Women in Theatre

by Marsha Norman, Daryl Roth, and Cheryl Robson
Available now!

Since 1660 when actresses first began performing on the English stage, women have forged bright careers in theatre, while men called the shots. Four hundred years of women playwrights, from Aphra Behn to Caryl Churchill, yet plays by women make up less than a quarter of staged productions in the UK, leading to a scarcity of roles for women. With women buying most of the tickets, theatre productions risk losing their relevance to modern culture if they fail to represent the many and varied lives of women. With an overview of post-war theatre and 25 exclusive interviews with leading women theatre-makers, this book inspires us to create a truly equal and inclusive theatre today.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List A Wonderful Guy: Conversations with the Great Men of Musical Theater

by Eddie Shapiro
Available now!

In A Wonderful Guy, a follow up to Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater, theatre journalist Eddie Shapiro sits down for intimate, career-encompassing conversations with nineteen of Broadway's most prolific and fascinating leading men. Full of detailed stories and reflections, his conversations with such luminaries as Joel Grey, Ben Vereen, Norm Lewis, Gavin Creel, Cheyenne Jackson, Jonathan Groff and a host of others dig deep into each actor's career; together, these chapters tell the story of what it means to be a leading man on Broadway over the past fifty years.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Gershwin in Pittsburgh

by Gregory Suriano
Available now!

The great American composer George Gershwin was a product of the energetic Jazz Age city of New York. Yet Pittsburgh may have been his adopted town, through road tours of his Broadway shows, his appearances as a concert pianist, and his myriad associates with ties to the Steel City. Meticulously researched, Gershwin in Pittsburgh chronicles these surprisingly consequential connections. Theatrical venues such as the Nixon and Alvin Theatres and colleagues like Ned Wayburn, Oscar Levant, George S. Kaufman, Dolores Costello, Fritz Reiner, and Pandro S. Berman are all spotlighted. Most revealing are the visits Gershwin personally made to the city--as accompanist to vaudeville star Nora Bayes, during his Rhapsody in Blue tours with the Paul Whiteman and Leo Reisman orchestras, and for his 1933 guest appearance with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 4

by Jennifer Ashley Tepper
Available now!

How have shows like Fiddler on the Roof, Falsettos, A Raisin in the Sun, and Hair fought for social justice through art? Who are the groundbreaking artists whose names have been forgotten but should be remembered? What are the funniest bloopers from Les Misérables and the craziest legends from Studio 54's days as a nightclub? What are the ways that American politics have affected theatre in the last century, from the Federal Theatre Project to satirizing presidents on stage? How has Broadway made it through tough times and remained the heart of New York City throughout it all? Originally published on the one-year anniversary of the 2020-2021 Broadway shutdown, hear from hundreds of theatre professionals about everything that makes Broadway essential.This is the fourth book in the multi-volume series that tells the stories of all of the Broadway theaters. This volume includes the Imperial, Jacobs, Studio 54, Minskoff, Friedman and Golden: six of our beloved Broadway houses, as well as the five Broadway theaters that were destroyed in 1982, changing the course of New York City history.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List The Magical Mice of Broadway

by Mark Robinson
Available now!

In March of 2020, Covid-19 reared its ugly head and shut down Broadway for more than a year. Overwhelmed and depressed by seeing my favorite pastime (as well as my livelihood) grind to a halt, I spent months in a daze. Imagining all of those empty theatres and the myriad talented people sidelined by this pandemic, the absence of Broadway in our world landed me in a funk. During this time, I happened upon an online article about how New York City theatres, in the wake of the stilled human traffic, were experiencing an uptick of mice in many of the venues. (When the people are away, the mice will play, so to speak). This article prompted me to imagine a Broadway that was never forced to shutter, but was instead overtaken by a band of magical thespian mice who kept theatre alive while the people were indeed away. The result was The Magical Mice of Broadway, my catharsis for getting through Broadway's pandemic hiatus. I partnered with my old high school friend and artist Sandra K. Simpson who set to bringing my story to life with visual splendor and quirky humor. We both hope that this book will speak to the child in us all and serve as an inspiration for always keeping theatre's flame burning.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Modern Theatres 1950-2020

by David Staples
Available now!

Modern Theatres 1950-2020 is an investigation of theatres, concert halls and opera houses in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America. The book explores in detail 30 of the most significant theatres, concert halls, opera houses and dance spaces that opened between 1950 and 2010. Each theatre is reviewed and assessed by experts in theatre buildings, such as architects, acousticians, consultants and theatre practitioners, and illustrated with full-colour photographs and comparative plans and sections. A further 20 theatres that opened from 2009 to 2020 are concisely reviewed and illustrated.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia

by Rick Pender
Available now!

The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia is a wonderfully detailed and comprehensive reference devoted to musical theater's most prolific and admired composer and lyricist. Entries cover Sondheim's numerous collaborators-from composers and directors to designers and orchestras-key songs-such as his Academy Award winner "Sooner or Later" (Dick Tracy)-and major works-including Assassins, Company, Follies, Sweeney Todd, and West Side Story. The encyclopedia also contains information about Sondheim's mentoring by Oscar Hammerstein II and his early collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, and profiles the actors who originated roles and sang Sondheim's songs for the first time, including Ethel Merman, Angela Lansbury, Mandy Patinkin, and Bernadette Peters.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Help is on the Way: From Places You Don't Know About Today...

by David Friedman
Available now!

In today's complex and challenging world, we often find ourselves facing problems for which there seem to be no answers. In this practical and inspirational book, songwriter and author David Friedman explores the idea that there are ALWAYS answers, and they often come in ways we don't expect, if only we are willing to be open to the possibilities. In 1990, David wrote the song, Help is on the Way, in response to the AIDS crisis. First sung by Nancy LaMott, it has since become the theme song for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and has helped raise millions of dollars for charitable and humanitarian causes around the world. Each chapter in the book is a line from the song, and is filled with stories, essays, anecdotes, quotations and practical advice. So whatever challenges you may be facing today, pick up this book, and know that Help is on the Way.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List American Vaudeville (In Place)

by Geoffrey Hilsabeck
Available now!

At the heart of American Vaudeville is one strange, unsettling fact: for nearly fifty years, from the late nineteenth century to the 1930s, vaudeville was everywhere-then, suddenly, it was nowhere. This book tells the story of what was once the most popular form of entertainment in the country using lists, creation myths, thumbnail biographies, dreams, and obituaries. A lyric history-part social history, part song-American Vaudeville sits at the nexus between poetry, experimental nonfiction, and, because it includes historic images, art books.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Hirschfeld: The Biography

by Ellen Stern
Release Date: July 6

Al Hirschfeld knew everybody and drew everybody. He occupied the twentieth century, and illustrated it. Hirschfeld: The Biography is the first portrait of the renowned artist's life-as spirited and unique as his pen-and-ink drawings. Beginning in the 1920s, he caricatured Hollywood actors, Washington politicians, and-his favorite-celebrities of the stage. Broadway belonged to Hirschfeld. His work appeared in the New York Times and other publications, as well as on book jackets, album covers, posters, and postage stamps, for more than seventy-five years.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts)

by James Fisher
Release Date: July 15, 2021

Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater. Second Edition covers theatrical practice and practitioners as well as the dramatic literature of the United States of America from 1930 to the present. The 90 years covered by this volume features the triumph of Broadway as the center of American drama from 1930 to the early 1960s through a Golden Age exemplified by the plays of Eugene O'Neill, Elmer Rice, Thornton Wilder, Lillian Hellman, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, William Inge, Lorraine Hansberry, and Edward Albee, among others. The impact of the previous modernist era contributed greatly to this period of prodigious creativity on American stages.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina

by Georgina Pazcoguin
Release Date: July 27, 2021

In this love letter to the art of dance and the sport that has been her livelihood, NYCB's first Asian American female soloist Georgina Pazcoguin lays bare her unfiltered story of leaving small-town Pennsylvania for New York City and training amid the unique demands of being a hybrid professional athlete/artist, all before finishing high school. She pitches us into the fascinating, whirling shoes of dancers in one of the most revered ballet companies in the world with an unapologetic sense of humor about the cutthroat, survival-of-the-fittest mentality at NYCB. Some swan dives are literal: even in the ballet, there are plenty of face-plants, backstage fights, late-night parties, and raucous company bonding sessions.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created "Sunday in the Park with George"

by James Lapine
Release Date: August 3, 2021

Putting It Together chronicles the two-year odyssey of creating the iconic Broadway musical Sunday in the Park with George. In 1982, James Lapine, at the beginning of his career as a playwright and director, met Stephen Sondheim, nineteen years his senior and already a legendary Broadway composer and lyricist. Shortly thereafter, the two decided to write a musical inspired by Georges Seurat's nineteenth-century painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet

by James Whiteside
Release Date: August 17, 2021

In this absurd and absurdist collection of essays, Whiteside tells us the story of how he got to be a primo ballerino-stopping along the way to muse about the tragically fated childhood pets who taught him how to feel, reminisce on ill-advised partying at summer dance camps, and imagine fantastical run-ins with Jesus on Grindr. Also in these pages are tales of the two alter egos he created to subvert the strict classical rigor of ballet: JbDubs, an out-and-proud pop musician, and Ühu Betch, an over-the-top drag queen named after Yoohoo chocolate milk.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Pick a Pocket Or Two: A History of British Musical Theatre

by Ethan Mordden
Release Date: September 1, 2021

In Pick a Pocket Or Two, acclaimed author Ethan Mordden brings his wit and wisdom to bear in telling the full history of the British musical, from The Beggar's Opera (1728) to the present, with an interest in isolating the unique qualities of the form and its influence on the American model. To place a very broad generalization, the American musical is regarded as largely about ambition fulfilled, whereas the British musical is about social order. Oklahoma!'s Curly wins the heart of the farmer Laurey--or, in other words, the cowboy becomes a landowner, establishing a truce between the freelancers on horseback and the ruling class. Half a Sixpence, on the other hand, finds a working-class boy coming into a fortune and losing it to fancy Dans, whereupon he is reunited with his working-class sweetheart, his modest place in the social order affirmed.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Ever After: Forty Years of Musical Theater and Beyond 1977-2020

by Barry Singer
Release Date: September 1, 2021

Ever After remains far more than a detailed show-by-show history. With nearly one hundred first-person interviews, it is also a definitive behind-the-scenes account of how those shows were made. Singer invites the people who created the last forty years of musical theater on and off Broadway to tell their own stories. From an unparalleled look at A Chorus Line's final bow through the revolutionary evolution of Sunday in the Park with George, as recounted by Stephen Sondheim, the tragic triumph of Rent, the real people behind Disney's mega-musicals, and even an afternoon with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Ever After proceeds to a moment-by-moment account of the birth of Wicked, by composer Stephen Schwartz; the extraordinary journeys of shows like Fun Home, Dear Evan Hansen, The Band's Visit, and Hadestown, through the eyes of their respective creators; and, finally, the miracle of Hamilton, as reconstructed by its producer Jeffrey Seller.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Balanchine's Apprentice: From Hollywood to New York and Back

by John Clifford
Release Date: September 21, 2021

In this long-awaited memoir, dancer and choreographer John Clifford offers a highly personal look inside the day-to-day operations of the New York City Ballet and its creative mastermind, George Balanchine. Balanchine's Apprentice is the story of Clifforda??an exceptionally talented artista??and the guiding inspiration for his life's work in dance.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Remember to Dream, Ebere

by Cynthia Erivo
Release Date: September 25, 2021

When Ebere's mother puts her to bed at night, she always says, "Remember to dream, Ebere." And dream, Ebere does! Encouraged by her mother to make her dreams as big as possible, Ebere imagines herself as the captain of a rocket ship with the ability to go anywhere in the universe. A message of hope and possibility, award-winning star of stage and screen Cynthia Erivo's debut picture book is an ode to a child's imagination, a parent's love, and the big dreams shared by both.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Warrior: Audrey Hepburn

By Robert Matzen
Release Date: September 28, 2021

Warrior: Audrey Hepburn completes the story arc of Robert Matzen's Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II. Hepburn's experiences in wartime, including the murder of family members, her survival through combat and starvation conditions, and work on behalf of the Dutch Resistance, gave her the determination to become a humanitarian for UNICEF and the fearlessness to charge into war-torn countries in the Third World on behalf of children and their mothers in desperate need. She set the standard for celebrity humanitarians and--according to her son Luca Dotti--ultimately gave her life for the causes she espoused.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History

by Schele Williams
Release Date: September 28, 2021

Beginning in Africa before 1619, Your Legacy presents an unprecedentedly accessible, empowering, and proud introduction to African American history for children. While your ancestors' freedom was taken from them, their spirit was not; this book celebrates their accomplishments, acknowledges their sacrifices, and defines how they are remembered-and how their stories should be taught.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Hooked: How Crafting Saved My Life

by Sutton Foster
Release Date: October 12, 2021

Whether she's playing an "age-defying" book editor on television or dazzling audiences on the Broadway stage, Sutton Foster manages to make it all look easy. How? Crafting. From the moment she picked up a cross stitch needle to escape the bullying chorus girls in her early performing days, she was hooked. Cross stitching led to crocheting, crocheting led to collages, which led to drawing, and so much more. Channeling her emotions into her creations centered Sutton as she navigated the significant moments in her life and gave her tangible reminders of her experiences. Now, in this charming and poignant collection, Sutton shares those moments, including her fraught relationship with her agoraphobic mother; a painful divorce splashed on the pages of the tabloids; her struggles with fertility; the thrills she found on the stage during hit plays like Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes, and Violet; her breakout TV role in Younger; and the joy of adopting her daughter, Emily. Accompanying the stories, Sutton has included crochet patterns, recipes, and so much more!

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Unprotected

by Billy Porter
Release Date: October 19, 2021

Billy Porter's Unprotected is the life story of a singular artist and survivor in his own words. It is the story of a boy whose talent and courage opened doors for him, but only a crack. It is the story of a teenager discovering himself, learning his voice and his craft amidst deep trauma. And it is the story of a young man whose unbreakable determination led him through countless hard times to where he is now; a proud icon who refuses to back down or hide. Porter is a multitalented, multifaceted treasure at the top of his game, and Unprotected is a resonant, inspirational story of trauma and healing, shot through with his singular voice.

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30 Theatre Books for Your Summer Reading List Smile: The Story of a Face

by Sarah Ruhl
Release Date: October 25, 2021

With a play opening on Broadway, and every reason to smile, Sarah Ruhl has just survived a high-risk pregnancy when she discovers the left side of her face is completely paralyzed. She is assured that 90 percent of Bell's palsy patients see spontaneous improvement and experience a full recovery. Like Ruhl's own mother. But Sarah is in the unlucky ten percent. And for a woman, wife, mother, and artist working in theater, the paralysis and the disconnect between the interior and exterior brings significant and specific challenges. So Ruhl begins an intense decade-long search for a cure while simultaneously grappling with the reality of her new face-one that, while recognizably her own-is incapable of accurately communicating feelings or intentions.

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