The Book of Broadway: The 150 Definitive Plays and Musicals.
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.
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.
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)
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".
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.
At This Theatre, though I wish it would be updated!
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.
Anything by Ethan Mordden! Especially the Broadway Years Series.
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.
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.
Jordan Catalano said: "Hands down for me, “Not Since Carrie”."YES I 100% AGREE. An amazing read!!
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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