BroadwayWorld Exclusive Sneak Peek Contest #2: Xanadu The Book! Seriously!



The Producers of Broadway's critically acclaimed surprise hit, XANADU, and the show's Director of Merchandise Karen Davidov, are pleased to announce the XANADU THE BOOK! SERIOUSLY! Sneak Peek and contest presented by, which will lead to the upcoming release of XANADU THE BOOK! SERIOUSLY! The showbook was conceived by world renowned graphic designers and collaborators Mark Melnick and Chip Kidd, who USA TODAY called "the closest thing to a rock star in graphic design today", with Xanadu's own Karen Davidov as Creative Director. The book also includes a Foreword by Chip Kidd.

On Friday evening, April 4th, XANADU'S "show" book will be available for purchase at the Helen Hayes Theatre and online at

Over the next ten days, XANADU and will sneak peek pages from XANADU THE BOOK! SERIOUSLY! as well as share stories of the book's creative process. Each sneak peek will be accompanied by a chance to win a copy of the book! The grand prize at the end of the 10-day period is a copy of the book PLUS 2 fantastic tickets to see Xanadu on Broadway.

XANADU THE BOOK! SERIOUSLY! came out of discussions between the producers and Davidov about how to do a showbook that was different from what consumers usually find on Broadway. Traditionally, two kinds of "souvenir" books exist: more mainstream production photo driven "programs" and the hard cover table books like Wicked's Grimmerie. XANADU THE BOOK! SERIOUSLY! offers a kind of rebel hybrid book to both  of these options by combining the artistry of two of the world's leading book designers with a high-end, oversized art-mag format. 

Producer Tara Smith offered, "We wanted this book to be less traditional - something that combines the joyful, irreverent fun of the show's experience with the themes of what the show is really about: creative inspiration, universal freedom of expression, the dreams of underdogs – all that good stuff that makes the fun worthwhile. Since Xanadu is about muses of inspiration, the book explores the muses that inspired Xanadu's creative team."

Creative Director Karen Davidov added, "It was important to everyone that we take people behind the scenes to give them a more intimate look at the creative process; a personal experience."

Click image below to see full-sized!

(Name, Address & Email)

Mark Melnick is a book and book jacket designer living in New York City. He has been on the staff of M&Co, under the late Tibor Kalman; Penguin USA, under Paul Buckley; and Vintage Books, under John Gall. He has been a freelance designer since 2002, working for clients including Random House, The Library of America, Rizzoli, Theatre Communications Group, Despair, Inc., Prestel Verlag and W. W. Norton. In 2005, he curated and designed the award-winning "Chip Kidd: Book One".

Chip Kidd
is an American author, editor and graphic designer, best known for his innovative book covers. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Kidd grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, strongly influenced by American popular culture. While a design student at Penn State, an art instructor once gave the assignment to design a book cover for Museums and Women by John Updike, who is also a Shillington native. The teacher panned Kidd's work in front of the class, suggesting that book design would not be a good career choice for him. However, Kidd later received professional assignments to design covers for Memories of the Ford Administration and other books by Updike.

Kidd is currently Associate Art Director at Knopf, an imprint of Random House. He first joined the Knopf design team in 1986, when he was hired as a junior assistant by Sara Eisenman. Publishers Weekly described his book jackets as "creepy, striking, sly, smart, unpredictable covers that make readers appreciate books as objects of art as well as literature." USA Today called him "the closest thing to a rock star" in graphic design today, while author James Ellroy has called him "the world's greatest book-jacket designer."

Turning out jacket designs at an average of 75 a year, Kidd freelanced for Doubleday, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Grove Press, HarperCollins, Penguin/Putnam, Scribner and Columbia University Press in addition to his work for Knopf. His output includes cover concepts for books by Mark Beyer, Bret Easton Ellis, Dean Koontz, Cormac McCarthy, Frank Miller, Michael Ondaatje, Alex Ross, Charles Schulz, Osamu Tezuka, David Sedaris, Donna Tartt, John Updike and others. His design for Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park novel was carried over into marketing for the film adaptation. Oliver Sacks and other authors have contract clauses stating that Kidd design their books.

His novel The Cheese Monkeys (Simon and Schuster, 2001) is an academic satire and coming-of-age tale about state college art students who struggle to meet the demands of sadistic art instructors. The book draws on Kidd's real-life experiences during his art studies at Penn State.

Kidd also supervises graphic novels at Pantheon, and in 2003 he collaborated with Art Spiegelman on a biography of cartoonist Jack Cole, Jack Cole and Plastic Man: Forms Stretched to Their Limits. Kidd lives in New York City and Stonington, CT,with his partner, poet J.D. McClatchy. A biographical survey, Chip Kidd by Veronique Vienne (Yale University Press, 2003), was followed by Chip Kidd: Book One, Work: 1986–2006 (Rizzoli, 2005), curated and designed by Mark Melnick with text by Kidd.

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