Showstoppers!: The Surprising Backstage Stories of Broadway's Most Remarkable Songs by Gerald Nachman
When Robert Preston shouted “Ya got trouble!” in River City, when Carol Channing glided down a gilded staircase while waiters serenaded her with “Hello, Dolly!,” when Barbra Streisand defied us to rain on her parade in Funny Girl, audiences were instantly enchanted. After such indelible moments, musicals were never the same, and neither were we. These were all showstoppers, the numbers you think about that propel you to see the show again, the songs you recall whenever the show is mentioned—“Big Spender” in Sweet Charity, “Popular” in Wicked, “I Cain’t Say No” in Oklahoma!
Showstoppers! is all about Broadway musicals’ most memorable numbers—why they were so effective, how they were created, and why they still resonate. Much of it is told through the eyes of the performers, songwriters, directors, and choreographers who first built these explosive numbers and lit the fuse. Gerald Nachman has interviewed dozens of iconic musical theater figures to get their inside stories for this book, including Patti LuPone, John Raitt, Jerry Herman, Edie Adams, Dick Van Dyke, Joel Grey, Marvin Hamlisch, John Kander, Tommy Tune, Sheldon Harnick, and Harold Prince, uncovering priceless untold anecdotes and details.