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Broadway Bookshelf - Must Read Theater Books

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In the Heights: Finding Home (2021)

Gives readers an inside look at In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway debut, written with Quiara Alegría Hudes, and now a feature film. Untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs, complete with his annotations. Also, newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world.

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100 Playwriting Challenges (2021)

What resources are out there for playwrights to “stay in shape” with their writing? Is there anything out there to help these theatermakers focus, practice, and tell stories? 100 Playwriting Challenges features a collection of exercises and prompts designed to jumpstart imagination and kick that daunting blank page to the curb. From challenges on character to scene-starters to revisions, this book will provide the tools and resources playwrights need to kick-start their next creative adventure.

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We Play Ourselves (2021)

Novel by playwright Jen Silverman (The Roommate) about a queer, feminist novelist.

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Walking with Ghosts: A Memoir (2021)

"Moving between sensual recollection of childhood in a now almost vanished Ireland and reflections on stardom in Hollywood and Broadway, Byrne also courageously recounts his battle with addiction and the ambivalence of fame." Audio versions narrated by the author. 1

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North by Shakespeare: A Rogue Scholar's Quest for the Truth Behind the Bard's Work (2021)

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.

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A Bright Ray of Darkness (2021)

Novel by Ethan Hawke about a young man "performing the role of Hotspur in a production of Henry IV under the leadership of a brilliant director, helmed by one of the most electrifying--and narcissistic--Falstaff's of all time." 256 pages. Audiobook narrated by Ethan Hawke.

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David Suchet: Behind the Lens: My Life (2021)

David Suchet has been a stalwart of British stage and screen for fifty years. From Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde, Freud to Poirot, Edward Teller to Doctor Who, Harold Pinter to Terence Rattigan, Questions of Faith to Decline and Fall, right up to 2019's The Price, David has done it all. Throughout this spectacular career, David has never been without a camera, enabling him to vividly document his life in photographs. Seamlessly combining photo and memoir, Behind the Lens is the story of David's re...

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Hymn (2021)

Two men meet at a funeral. Gil knew the deceased. Benny did not. Before long their families are close. Soon they'll be singing the same tune. Benny is a loner anchored by his wife and children. Gil longs to fulfill his potential. They develop a deep bond but as cracks appear in their fragile lives they start to realise that true courage comes in different forms. Featuring music from Gil and Benny's lives, Lolita Chakrabarti's searching, soulful new play asks what it takes to be a good fat...

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50 Women in Theatre (2021)

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...

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Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way (2021)

For readers of Hidden Figures and Something Wonderful, Footnotes is the story of New York in the roaring twenties and the very first Broadway show with an all-black cast and creative team to succeed―and the indelible mark on our popular culture.

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The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 4 (2021)

Includes over 30 new interviews, features hundreds of theatre professionals discussing everything that makes Broadway essential. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Broadway Advocacy Coalition.

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Gershwin in Pittsburgh (Images of America) (2021)

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...

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The Best Women's Monologues from New Plays, 2020 (2021)

Approximately 100 women’s monologues for actors to use for auditions and in class, all from recently produced plays ... by both well-known playwrights such as Don Nigro, Saviana Stanescu, and Len Jenkin and future stars such as Lia Romeo, Steven Hayet, Lori Fischer, Will Arbery, and Carey Crim. 184 pages.

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The Best Men's Monologues from New Plays, 2020 (2021)

Approximately 100 men's monologues for actors to use for auditions and in class, all from recently produced plays ... by both well-known playwrights such as Don Nigro, Theresa Rebeck, Rob Ackerman, Len Jenkin, Stephen Belber, and Tim Blake Nelson, and future stars such as David MacGregor, Reina Hardy, Chris Daftsios, Frank Basloe, and Will Arbery. 184 pages.

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B Is for Broadway: Onstage and Backstage from A to Z (2021)

From "Auditions" to "Ziegfeld" ... rhythmic alphabet book featuring favorite performers, creators, songs, and shows from the Broadway stage ... Lin-Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Irving Berlin, Jennifer Holliday, and Billy Porter ... famous New York theaters, beloved shows, and the crew, stylists, and technicians who are vital to each performance. 48 pages.

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The Reason to Sing: A Guide to Acting While Singing (2021)

By composer-lyricist and teacher Craig Carnelia (Working, Is There Life After High School?, Sweet Smell of Success). Step-by-step guide to making singing performances more truthful, vivid, and full of life. Utilizes detailed descriptions of sessions the author has had with his notable students and lays out a new and proven approach to help you build your skills, your confidence, and your career.

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I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby: Dorothy Fields and Her Life in the American Musical Theater (2021)

Biography of legendary Broadway/film librettist/lyricst Dorothy Fields (Annie Get Your Gun, Redhead, Sweet Charity).

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A History of Theater on Cape Cod (2021)

From the beginning of theater on the Cape in 1916 when a group of artists and writers in Provincetown mounted a production of a one-act play, Bound East for Cardiff, by a little-known playwright, Eugene O'Neill. It grew into the constantly expanding theater universe it is today. The theatrical descendants of O'Neill and the Provincetown Players continue to present classical drama, contemporary hits and new, experimental works to audiences that have come to expect the best. A tour of the theater...

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Hirschfeld: The Biography (2021)

The first portrait of the renowned artist's life ... through interviews with Hirschfeld himself, his friends and family, and his famous subjects, as well as through letters, scrapbooks, and home movies. [Appears to be the same book that was announced under Sarah Crichton Books in 2017, but never appeared.]336 pages.

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Broadway Goes to War: American Theater during World War II (2021)

Analysis of how American theater actively addressed and debated timely and controversial topics during World War II, including how productions such as Watch on the Rhine (1941), The Moon is Down (1942), Tomorrow the World (1943), and A Bell for Adano (1944) encouraged public discussion of the war's impact on daily life and raised critical topics about the conflict well before other forms of popular media.

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Boston's Theater District (Images of America) (2021)

Downtown Boston once thrived as a dazzling bohemia of burlesque halls, movie palaces, dime museums, and regal stages. By 1915, more than 20 theaters crowded along a quarter-mile stretch of lower Washington Street. The theater district gave birth to vaudeville and incubated some of America's most darling musicals and daring new dramas en route to Broadway. Theatergoers flocked to Tremont and Boylston Streets to watch the latest tryouts. Some productions flopped; others, like Oklahoma! and Paul R...

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American Musicals in Context: From the American Revolution to the 21st Century (2021)

A fresh look at history-based musicals, helping readers to understand the American story through one of the country's most celebrated art forms: the musical. Provides the synopsis, critical and audience reception, and historical context and analysis for each of 20 musicals selected for the unique and illuminating way they present America's story on the stage.

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And Then the Doors Opened Again: What Will Happen on Your First Theatre Visit after the Lockdown? (2021)

Theater director David Weber-Krebs asks theater industry practitioners, artists, scholars, curators and spectators to imagine their first post-virus theater visit. 288 pages.

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Greek Theater in Ancient Sicily (2021)

Examines the origins and development of ancient drama, and particularly comedy, within a Sicilian and southern Italian context. Each chapter explores a different category of theatrical evidence, from the literary (fragments of Epicharmus and cult traditions) to the artistic (phylax vases) and the archaeological (theater buildings)

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Modern Theatres 1950 – 2020 (2021)

An investigation of theatres, concert halls, and opera houses in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North and South America. Explores in detail thirty 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-color photographs and comparative plans and sections. A further...

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Notes on the Writing of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (2021)

Bookwriter Freedman goes through the process of writing a new musical, including story structure, song placement, dialogue, character development, and more that led to the creation of 2014 A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. Describes the challenging and rewarding growing pains.

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The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia (2021)

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; major works; Sondheim’s mentoring by Oscar Hammerstein II and his early collaboration with Leonard Bernstein; profiles of the actors who originated roles and sang Sondheim's songs for the first time. Features a detailed biographical entry for Sondheim, a chronology o...

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The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong (2021)

The original one-act edition of the play by Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Lewis which premiered at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London in 2012. (The expanded two-act version Won WhatsOnStage, Olivier, Tony, and Drama Desk Awards.) 64 pages

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The Chance to Fly (2021)

A heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations—and gravity—from Tony award–winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz 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’...

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A Wonderful Guy: Conversations with the Great Men of Musical Theater (2021)

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 Vareen, Norm Lewis, Gavin Creel, Cheyenne Jackson, Jonathan Groff and a host of others dig deep into each actor's career; toget...

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Paris and the Musical: The City of Light on Stage and Screen (2021)

Paris and the Musical explores how the famous city has been portrayed on stage and screen, investigates why the city has been of such importance to the genre and tracks how it has developed as a trope over the 20th and 21st centuries. From global hits An American in Paris, Gigi, Les Misérables, Moulin Rouge! and The Phantom of the Opera to the less widely-known Bless the Bride, Can-Can, Irma la Douce and Marguerite, the French capital is a central character in an astounding number of Broadwa...

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No Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century (2021)

This book chronicles one hundred years of dramatic developments in ballet, modern, and experimental dance for stage and screen in Europe and North America. The volume is magisterial in scope, encompassing the history of theatrical dance from 1900 through 2000. Beginning with turn-of-the-century dancer-choreographers like Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Michel Fokine, and a bit later Vaslav Nijinsky, and proceeding through the profusion of dance styles performed today, the book provides an unparall...

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Looking Back: Buster Keaton's 1951 British Music Hall Tour (2021)

“Looking Back” is intended to be a visual documentary of a little-known episode in the life of Buster Keaton – his tour of British music halls in the summer of 1951. This 20th anniversary edition has been revised and updated.

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Beulah Bondi: A Life on Stage and Screen (2021)

The life and career of film, stage (Street Scene) and television actress Beulah Bondi.

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Avant-Garde Nationalism at the Dublin Gate Theatre (2021)

In 1928, Hilton Edwards and Micheál mac Liammóir founded the Dublin Gate Theatre, which quickly became renowned for producing stylistically and dramaturgically innovative plays in a uniquely avant-garde setting. While the Gate’s lasting importance to the history of Irish theater is generally attributed to its introduction of experimental foreign drama to Ireland, Van den Beuken shines a light on the Gate’s productions of several new Irish playwrights, such as Denis Johnston, Mary Manning, David...

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And This is My Friend Sandy: Sandy Wilson's The Boy Friend, London Theatre and Gay Culture (2021)

This book situates the production of The Boy Friend and the Players' Theatre in the context of a post-war London and reads The Boy Friend, and Wilson's later work, as exercises in contemporary camp. It argues for Wilson as a significant and transitional figure both for musical theatre and for modes of homosexuality in the context of the pre-Wolfenden 1950s.

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The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong (2021)

The original one-act edition of the play by Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Lewis which premiered at the Old Red Lion Theatre in London in 2012. (The expanded two-act version Won WhatsOnStage, Olivier, Tony, and Drama Desk Awards.)

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Lilyville: Mother, Daughter, and Other Roles I've Played (2021)

Memoir that shares the highs and lows of a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, and shares the lessons that she has learned, often the hard way, about how to live a life in the spotlight, strive for excellence, and still get along with your mother.

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Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park With George (2021)

Putting It Together chronicles the two-year odyssey of creating the iconic Broadway musical Sunday in the Park with George. In 1984, James Lapine, then a fledgling playwright and director, met Stephen Sondheim, already a legendary Broadway composer, and the two decided to turn Georges Seurat’s masterwork Sunday on the Island of La Grand Jatte into a musical.

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The Phantom of the Opera Collection (2021)

Fully authorized graphic novel adaptation by Cavan Scott, illustrated by José María Beroy, of the Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe original libretto.

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What the Constitution Means to Me (TCG Edition) (2020)

When she was fifteen years old, Heidi Schreck started traveling the country, taking part in constitutional debates to earn money for her college tuition. Decades later, in What the Constitution Means to Me, she traces the effect that the Constitution has had on four generations of women in her family, deftly examining how the United States’ founding principles are inextricably linked with our personal lives.

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Jason Robert Brown Collection - Volume 2: 24 Selections from Shows and Albums (2020)

Songbook features 24 selections from Bridges of Madison County, 13: The Musical, Honeymoon in Vegas, and The Last Five Years and the album How We React and How We Recover. Arranged for voice with piano accompaniment. "All Things in Time," "Almost Real," "Always Better," "Another Life," "Anywhere but Here," "Before and After You/One Second and a Million Miles," "Being a Geek," "Brand New You," "Fifty Years Long," "Hope," "I Love Betsy," "Invisible," "It All Fades Away," "Jason's Song (Gave It Aw...

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Disney Goes Classical (2020)

Songbook of songs from the album Disney Goes Classical. Classical versions of iconic Disney themes, arranged for solo piano, and piano/vocal/guitar where appropriate. "Almost There," "The Bare Necessities," "Beauty and the Beast," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?," "Colors of the Wind," "Go the Distance," "How Far I'll Go," "I See the Light," "Let It Go," "Overture from Mary Poppins," "Part of Your World," "Reflection," "When She Loved Me," "When You Wish Upon a Star," "A Whole New World." 72 pa...

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Blue Song: St. Louis in the Life and Work of Tennessee Williams (2020)

While it has been written that Tennessee Williams had a dislike of St. Louis, the city where he lived the longest, Schvey reveals how the city was indispensable to Williams' formation and development both as a person and artist, and that he remained emotionally tethered to St. Louis for a host of reasons for the rest of his life.

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The Mel Brooks Songbook (2020)

Twenty-three songs written by Mel Brooks from movies and shows. Preface by Mel Brooks. Arranged for piano and voice with guitar chord frames. 1

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Butoh: Cradling Empty Space (2020)

Approaches the avant-garde Japanese performance art form of butoh from a cross-cultural, gender studies, and scientific perspective. From twenty years of research, interviews with some of the world’s top practitioners, historical documents, and rare photographs.

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The Theatre of Rupert Goold: Radical approaches to adaptation and new writing (2020)

Since the late 1990s, Rupert Goold has garnered a reputation as one of the UK's most exciting and provocative theatre directors. His exhilarating, risk-taking productions of both classic texts and new plays have travelled from regional stages to the National Theatre, the West End, Broadway and beyond. Through his artistic directorship of Northampton's Royal & Derngate, the touring theatre company Headlong and London's Almeida Theatre, he has radically transformed, not only the companies themsel...

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Staging America: Twenty-First-Century Dramatists (2020)

Many of the American playwrights who dominated the 20th century are no longer with us: Edward Albee, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Neil Simon, August Wilson and Wendy Wasserstein. A new generation, whose careers began in this century, has emerged, and done so when the theatre itself, along with the society with which it engages, was changing. Capturing the cultural shifts of 21st-century America, Staging America explores the lives and works of 8 award-winning playwrights – including Ayad Akhtar, ...

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Moulin Rouge! songbook (2020)

Vocal selections from Moulin Rouge! the musical. Includes "Backstage Romance," "Chandelier," "Come What May," "Crazy Rolling," "Elephant Love Medley," "Firework," "Nature Boy," "Only Girl in a Material World," "Shut Up and Raise Your Glass," "The Sparkling Diamond," "Sympathy for the Duke," "El Tango de Roxanne," "Your Song." 120 pages.

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Mike Nichols: A Life (2020)

Biography by Mark Harris, "an intimate and evenhanded accounting of success and failure alike; the portrait is not always flattering, but its ultimate impact is to present the full story of one of the most richly interesting, complicated, and consequential figures the worlds of theater and motion pictures have ever seen. " Audiobook narrated by George Newbern.

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