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Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!

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Looking for something new to read while stuck inside, but still need your Broadway fix? We've rounded up 10 MORE of our favorite theatrical biographies to fill the void!

And be sure to check out part one here!


Noel Coward: A Biography

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Philip Hoare

To several generations, actor, playwright, songwriter, and filmmaker, Noël Coward (1899-1973) was the very personification of wit, glamour, and elegance. His biographer, Philip Hoare, given unprecedented access to the private papers and correspondence of Coward family members, compatriots, and numerous lovers, has produced the definitive biography of one of the twentieth century's most celebrated and controversial figures.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Sondheim: The Man Who Changed Musical Theater

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Susan Goldman Rubin

Beginning with the opening night of the classic musical West Side Story in 1957, and tracing Stephen's life from boyhood to his struggles as an up and coming Broadway composer/lyricist to a musical theater legend, Susan Rubin's Putting It Together draws readers into the passionate, tumultuous, and musical world of Stephen Sondheim.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Tennessee Williams Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by John Lahr

Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh gives intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Shirley Booth: A Biography and Career Record

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by David C. Tucker

This first biography of the beloved star provides complete coverage of a career that encompassed theater, film, radio, and television, and co-stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. It begins with Shirley's childhood in Brooklyn, and her rebellious decision to become an actress against the wishes of her strict father. Included is complete coverage of her tumultuous marriage to radio comedian Ed Gardner (of "Duffy's Tavern" fame), and a second, happier union that ended abruptly with her husband's death of a heart attack. Readers of this exhaustively researched biography will come to know a versatile and gifted star whose career spanned almost 60 years.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Elia Kazan: A Biography

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Richard Schickel

From the late forties through the sixties, Elia Kazan was the most important and influential director in America, and the only one who managed simultaneously to dominate both theater and film. In that role he manifestly shaped the conception and writing, as well as the presentation, of many of the period's iconic works, reshaping the values of the stage and bringing a new realism and intensity of performance to the screen. His various achievements include the original Broadway productions of The Skin of Our Teeth, All My Sons, and Death of a Salesman and such Hollywood films as Gentleman's Agreement, Brando's Streetcar, and Splendor in the Grass.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Moss Hart: A Prince of the Theater

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Jared Brown

In Moss Hart: A Prince of the Theater, acclaimed biographer Jared Brown examines this Pulitzer Prize-winning legend with a meticulously researched, sensitive look at the life and work of a major American artist. Brown examines Hart's early days writing with George S. Kaufman, his collaborations with Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Kurt Weill, and Ira Gershwin, his career as a movie director, and his final act as director of the stage smashes My Fair Lady and Camelot. More than just an assessment of Hart's career, this is a personal portrait as well, with frank discussions of Hart's rumored bisexuality, his battles with anxiety and depression, and his marriage. This long-awaited biography, written with the full cooperation of Hart's family and friends, is truly the definitive picture of a theatrical giant.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Still Here: The Madcap, Nervy, Singular Life of Elaine Stritch

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Alexandra Jacobs

Still Here is the first full telling of Elaine Stritch's life. Rollicking but intimate, it tracks one of Broadway's great personalities from her upbringing in Detroit during the Great Depression to her fateful move to New York City, where she studied alongside Marlon Brando, Bea Arthur, and Harry Belafonte.

In Still Here, Alexandra Jacobs conveys the full force of Stritch's sardonic wit and brassy charm while acknowledging her many dark complexities. Following years of meticulous research and interviews, this is a portrait of a powerful, vulnerable, honest, and humorous figure who continues to reverberate in the public consciousness.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Making Oscar Wilde

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Michele Mendelssohn

Combining new evidence and gripping cultural history, Michele Mendelssohn dramatizes Wilde's rise, fall, and resurrection as part of a spectacular transatlantic pageant. With superb style and an instinct for story-telling, she brings to life the charming young Irishman who set out to captivate the United States and Britain with his words and ended up conquering the world.

Following the twists and turns of Wilde's journey, Mendelssohn vividly depicts sensation-hungry Victorian journalism and popular entertainment alongside racial controversies, sex scandals, and the growth of Irish nationalism. This ground-breaking revisionist history shows how Wilde's tumultuous early life embodies the story of the Victorian era as it tottered towards modernity.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Imani Perry

After the success of A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry used her prominence in myriad ways: challenging President Kennedy and his brother to take bolder stances on Civil Rights, supporting African anti-colonial leaders, and confronting the romantic racism of the Beat poets and Village hipsters. Though she married a man, she identified as lesbian and, risking censure and the prospect of being outed, joined one of the nation's first lesbian organizations. Hansberry associated with many activists, writers, and musicians, including Malcolm X, Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, among others. Looking for Lorraine is a powerful insight into Hansberry's extraordinary life-a life that was tragically cut far too short.

Purchase on Amazon here.


Jerome Robbins: A Life in Dance (Jewish Lives)

Broadway Books: 10 MORE Biographies to Read While Staying Inside!by Wendy Lesser

Jerome Robbins (1918-1998) was born Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz and grew up in Weehawken, New Jersey, where his Russian-Jewish immigrant parents owned the Comfort Corset Company. Robbins, who was drawn to dance at a young age, resisted the idea of joining the family business. In 1936 he began working with Gluck Sandor, who ran a dance group and convinced him to change his name to Jerome Robbins. He went on to become a choreographer and director who worked in ballet, on Broadway, and in film. His stage productions include West Side Story, Peter Pan, and Fiddler on the Roof. In this deft biography, Wendy Lesser presents Jerome Robbins's life through his major dances, providing a sympathetic, detailed portrait of her subject.

Purchase on Amazon here.


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