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Your favourite Broadway books

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reginula
Featured Actor
joined:4/6/17
Featured Actor
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4/6/17
Your favourite Broadway books#1
Posted: 2/22/18 at 12:38am
Hi there.
I know there are lists of Broadway books out there but I’m actively looking for a personal recommendation.
Can you share your favourites?
Right now I only own Sondheim’s Finishing the hat, the Great Comet book, and the Hamilton one.
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EllieRose2
Broadway Star
joined:11/22/17
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Your favourite Broadway books#2
Posted: 2/22/18 at 12:49am

The Book of Broadway: The 150 Definitive Plays and Musicals.

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CorkySt.Clair
Featured Actor
joined:7/1/17
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Your favourite Broadway books#3
Posted: 2/22/18 at 5:53am
THe Secret Life of the American Musical by Jack Viertel for sure!
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Lot666
Broadway Legend
joined:2/8/17
Broadway Legend
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Your favourite Broadway books#4
Posted: 2/22/18 at 8:59am

Someone in another thread recently mentioned a book called "Song of Spider-Man" by Glen Berger, who was the co-writer of Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. If you enjoy behind-the-scenes information and are interested in what goes into the development and staging of a major Broadway show, I found this book fascinating. I got it from my local library, but enjoyed the book so much that I subsequently bought a copy for myself.

============> this board is a nest of vipers <============

"Michael Riedel...The Perez Hilton of the New York Theatre scene"
- Craig Hepworth, What's On Stage
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CorkySt.Clair
Featured Actor
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Your favourite Broadway books#5
Posted: 2/22/18 at 9:16am
^ I’ll also second Song of Spider-Man; it was quite fascinating.
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ohjustjake
Leading Actor
joined:4/18/06
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Your favourite Broadway books#6
Posted: 2/22/18 at 12:04pm

Song of Spiderman is super interesting and hard to put down - definitely recommend it.

I read Michael Riedel's Razzle Dazzle this past winter break and really enjoyed it. All about the Schubert Organization and Foundation from their beginning days to now. Definitely a perspective you wouldn't think about as a regular theatergoer.

Definitely recommend Everything Was Possible by Ted Chapin. He was a PA on the original production of Follies. One of the best bway books I've ever read.

I'm currently reading The Rise and Fall of the Broadway Musical by Mark Grant - more like a textbook but SUPER good.

Updated On: 2/22/18 at 12:04 PM
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ggersten
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joined:5/11/06
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Your favourite Broadway books#7
Posted: 10/29/19 at 11:14am

Bumping this up for two reasons (1) gift giving season is nearly here (2) I just saw a FB ad for Stages by Albert Poland.  Anybody read Poland's book or have comments about whether it's worth a purchase (of course, there's always the library)

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Jordan Catalano
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joined:10/9/05
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Your favourite Broadway books#8
Posted: 10/29/19 at 11:17am
Hands down for me, “Not Since Carrie”.
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Mark Waltz
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joined:5/7/18
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Your favourite Broadway books#9
Posted: 10/29/19 at 11:17am

I re-read "Not Since Carrie" over and over. I wish it would be updated. A lot has happened in this category since "Legs Diamond", "Chu Chem" and "Carrie". 

One Grecian Ern
RWPrincess
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/18
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Your favourite Broadway books#10
Posted: 10/29/19 at 11:25am

I recently read a newer book called Disney Theatrical Productions: Producing Broadway Musicals the Disney Way by Amy Osatinski. It's a good look behind the scenes of developing musicals with a heavy focus on how Disney does it. The author had inside access too so the info in the book is legit. 

R. GreenFinch
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joined:3/16/18
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Your favourite Broadway books#11
Posted: 10/29/19 at 11:27am

At This Theatre, though I wish it would be updated!

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Mark Waltz
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Your favourite Broadway books#12
Posted: 10/29/19 at 12:04pm

For great reference and some rare photos, the Theater World series (which stopped publishing a while back) is great because it takes you through each Broadway season in detail: replacements, stand-by's, then goes through each of the Off Broadway companies, national tours and various awards given out. There was a large section on obituaries and major cast member bio's. The Best Plays of (season year) is good because it has 10 shows which stood out, basically a full plot synopsis with important scenes (and in the case of musicals, songs) done in detail.

As a kid, I would scan through my school and local library of the individual scripts of plays and musicals, and when I moved to a bigger city, went nuts with the number of more obscure titles I found. They were hard-cover, not paperbacks, with a great book cover if still in good condition, and often, stills of the original production. Before I started buying souvenir programs, I would scan the pictures, although now through the NYPL and Museum of the City of New York, you can find tons of rare stills on line that were never available before. 

One Grecian Ern
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Your favourite Broadway books#13
Posted: 10/29/19 at 1:04pm

Anything by Ethan Mordden! Especially the Broadway Years Series.

"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
Jarethan
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joined:2/10/11
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Your favourite Broadway books#14
Posted: 10/29/19 at 2:33pm

My absolute favorite was Everything Was Possible, previously described.  I saw Follies the first (and second) time in Boston when I was in college, and I have always felt that seeing the original production of Follies in Boston was one of the most memorable (for a theatre geek) experiences in my 4 years in Boston.  Reading the book made me feel there again.

In second and third place:  Not Since Carrie (I have probably read it 10 times); and Razzle Dazzle.  Shoot me: it was just fun to read, all the more so whenever I found a factual error (can't think of one right now), of which I remember there were quite a few.

I was attending the theatre very frequently during the years that he chronicles the Shubert's role in turning around Times Square, as I was living in Manhattan, and cheap seats were still really cheap.  There were a lot or errors, some probably a little intentionally (to strengthen an argument).  But it was still fun to read.

I also love the Martin Gottfried Broadway Musicals and More Broadway Musicals, essentially coffee table books, but with a lot of good info.  I wish there had been an Even More Broadway Musicals...alas not tome knowledge.

 
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Understudy
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Your favourite Broadway books#15
Posted: 10/29/19 at 9:28pm
The Come From Away book that came out last month. I might be biased cause that’s my all time favorite show, but it has a lot of background info around the real events of the show and is super interesting!
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ImaginaryManticore
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Your favourite Broadway books#16
Posted: 10/30/19 at 6:16pm

On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line. It's compiled from interviews with the original cast and it feels like they capture the essence of the show, with the stories of the individual dancers and their experiences with the musical.

I also loved Act One by Moss Hart. It's his autobiography that tells of his experiences with Broadway in the early 20th century and how he found work in the theatre and eventually became a playwright.

Updated On: 10/31/19 at 06:16 PM
magictodo123
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Your favourite Broadway books#17
Posted: 10/30/19 at 6:16pm

Jordan Catalano said: "Hands down for me, “Not Since Carrie”."

YES I 100% AGREE. An amazing read!! 

magictodo123
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Your favourite Broadway books#18
Posted: 10/30/19 at 6:17pm

stoptheworld38 said: "The Come From Away book that came out last month. I might be biased cause that’s my all time favorite show, but it has a lot of background info around the real events of the show and is super interesting!"

Planning on ordering it next week. I need it! 

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FosseTharp
Understudy
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Your favourite Broadway books#19
Posted: 10/30/19 at 6:22pm
“No Legs, No Jokes, No Chance: The History of the American Musical Theater” by the late Sheldon Patinkin.


Also, not “Broadway” but “Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater” by Mark Larson is excellent.
carobie
Swing
joined:9/7/19
Swing
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Your favourite Broadway books#20
Posted: 10/30/19 at 7:01pm
Does anyone have any fiction recommendations set in the broadway world?

I enjoyed Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway Nights book, it was a fun one

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