Broadway Bookshelf - Must Read Theater Books

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Hardcover Releases

Ira Gershwin: A Life in Words (11/26/2024)

First full-length biography devoted to the life of Ira Gershwin. Draws on extensive archival sources and often using Ira's own words. 30 illustrations. 400 pages.

Ira Gershwin: A Life in Words Cover
The Third Gilmore Girl (9/17/2024)

Memoir by Kelly Bishop, spanning her six decades in show business from Broadway to Hollywood with A Chorus Line, Dirty Dancing, Gilmore Girls, and much more. Also includes a special collection of personal and professional photographs. 288 pages.

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Yankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan and the Broadway Stage (5/24/2024)

Part of the Broadway Legacies series. In the first book on Cohan in fifty years, Craft situates Cohan as a central figure of his day. Examining his multifaceted contributions and the various sociocultural identities he came to embody, Craft shows how Cohan and his works indelibly shaped the American cultural landscape. 288 pages.

Yankee Doodle Dandy: George M. Cohan and the Broadway Stage Cover
Relentless: My Story of the Latino Spirit that is Transforming America (5/7/2024)

Published with Hachette, Relentless will be available in both English and Spanish and shares the story of Luis’ life and career – from his early days as a Puerto Rican activist to the decades of political strategy and Latino community organizing. Readers will experience the thrill of the ascendency of Hamilton, created by his son Lin-Manuel Miranda, the family’s remarkable humanitarian action after the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, and all the grit, triumphs, and challenges of ...

Relentless: My Story of the Latino Spirit that is Transforming America Cover
The Irish Repertory Theatre: Celebrating Thirty-Five Years Off-Broadway (5/6/2024)

History of the multi-award winning Off-Broadway Irish Repertory Theatre Company, from its beginning in 1988 to its thirty-fifth season in 2023. Considers how the Irish Rep's plays and musicals reflect the Irish diaspora, the relationship between Ireland and America, and what it means to be Irish and Irish American, both historically, and in the twenty-first century. 185 pages.

The Irish Repertory Theatre: Celebrating Thirty-Five Years Off-Broadway Cover
Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent (4/23/2024)

Judi Dench opens up about every Shakespearean role she has played throughout her seven-decade career in a series of intimate conversations with actor and director Brendan O'Hea. Interspersed with vignettes on audiences, critics, company spirit and rehearsal room etiquette, she serves up priceless revelations on everything from the craft of speaking in verse to her personal interpretations of some of Shakespeare's most famous scenes.

Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent Cover
Song of the Season: Outstanding Broadway Songs since 1891 (4/18/2024)

Charts the progress of American showtunes alongside popular music forms as songs evolved from the waltz and ragtime to jazz, rock, rap and hip-hop. Factual analysis and historical context combine to offer a rich picture of the American songbook from Irving Berlin to Elton John. 440 pages.

Song of the Season: Outstanding Broadway Songs since 1891 Cover
The Tony Awards: A Celebration of Excellence in Theatre (4/16/2024)

Coffee table book by Eila Mell and The American Theatre Wing. Foreword by Audra McDonald. Commemorating over 75 years of Broadway greatness with never-before told stories, rare photos from the American Theatre Wing's archives, and more than 100 interviews with past and present Tony winners, including actors, producers, writers, and costume designers. 400+ color and black-and-white photographs. 320 pages.

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On Bette Midler: An Opinionated Guide (4/15/2024)

Traces the early development of Midler's performing ethos from New York's downtown experimental theater scene and examines her impact across media, with chapters on the soaring highs (and occasional cringe-worthy lows) of her stage work, movies, recordings, and television appearances, and considers her influence as an environmental activist and social media presence. Features performance analysis and deeply researched background information, all supporting informed - and divinely opinionated - ...

On Bette Midler: An Opinionated Guide Cover
To Repair the World: Zelda Fichandler and the Transformation of American Theater (4/5/2024)

Biography in the form of an oral history about Zelda Fichandler, whose founding of Arena Stage in Washington, DC in 1950 shifted live professional theater away from Broadway and inspired the creation of non-profit theaters around the country. Dianne Wiest, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, and Jane Alexander, among many others, share their memories of this intrepid pioneering woman during Arena Stage’s early years. Fichandler was Head of New York University’s Graduate Acting Program for 25 years. ...

To Repair the World: Zelda Fichandler and the Transformation of American Theater Cover
The Great Gatsby: The 1926 Broadway Script (3/31/2024)

James L. W. West III and Anne Margaret Daniel, editors. Script for Owen Davis' adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. The show played the Ambassador Theatre in 1926. Photographs of the original sets and actors, reviews. 150 pages.

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Letters from an Actor: Anniversary Edition (3/5/2024)

Foreword by Sam Mendes. Afterword by Adam Redfield. William Redfield's (Guildenstern) series of letters describing the daily happenings and his impressions of them during the three months of preparation for the 1964 Hamlet, from rehearsals through out-of-town tryouts to the gala opening night on Broadway. New edition brings Redfield's classic back into print, as The Motive and the Cue, the Sam Mendes-directed play about the Gielgud production that is based in part on the book, continues its run...

Letters from an Actor: Anniversary Edition Cover
Cocktails with George and Martha: Movies, Marriage, and the Making of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2/13/2024)

The author traces Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? from its origins in Greenwich Village's bohemian enclave, through its tormented production process, to its explosion onto screens across America and a permanent place in the canon of cinematic marriages. 368 pages.

Cocktails with George and Martha: Movies, Marriage, and the Making of Who's Afraid of Cover
Tell it to the World: The Broadway Musical Abroad (1/30/2024)

A look at how the Broadway musical travels the world, influencing and even transforming local practices and traditions. Focuses on recent musicals but also looks back through the twentieth century to plot the evolution of musical theatre in South Korea and Germany. 312 pages.

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Thrill Maker: The Story of My Musical "Thrill Me" (1/18/2024)

The author looks back over the last 30 years and writes about how his musical Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story became a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominee and went on to have over two hundred productions spanning twenty-five countries and seventeen languages. 312 pages.

Thrill Maker: The Story of My Musical
Greasepaint Puritan: Boston to 42nd Street in the Queer Backstage Novels of Bradford Ropes (1/16/2024)

Details the life and work of Bradford Ropes, author of the bawdy 1932 novel "42nd Street," on which the classic film and its stage adaptation are based. Follows Ropes s successful career as both a performer and the author of the backstage novels "42nd Street," "Stage Mother," and "Go Into Your Dance." Ropes rebelled against the "Proper Bostonian" life, in a career that touched upon the Jazz Age, American vaudeville, and theater censorship. 330 pages.

Greasepaint Puritan: Boston to 42nd Street in the Queer Backstage Novels of Bradford Cover
Mary & Ethel ... and Mikey Who? (1/16/2024)

By Stephen Cole, who has "taken his real-life friendships with Ethel Merman and Mary Martin, the two undisputed queens of Broadway, tossed them into a blender and come up with a fantasy about a nerdy super-fan in the early 1980s who, while visiting his dying idol Ethel Merman, stumbles into a time portal in her closet and exits on the other side in Sophie Tucker's star dressing room at the Imperial Theatre in 1939." 216 pages.

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The Final Curtain: Obituaries of Fifty Great Actors (12/28/2023)

Fifty articles (from the the Guardian, the Observer, the Financial Times, and the Evening Standard) arranged in chronological order of each actor’s demise, constituting a vivid history of postwar theatre through the lives of the actors. There are happy/sad juxtapositions of shooting stars Robert Stephens and Alan Bates; tragic niece and aunt, Natasha Richardson and Lynn Redgrave; classical queens Diana Rigg and Barbara Jefford; and versatile showtime hoofers Una Stubbs and Lionel Blair. 256 pag...

The Final Curtain: Obituaries of Fifty Great Actors Cover
Jesus Christ Superstar: Behind the Scenes of the Worldwide Musical Phenomenon (12/15/2023)

Detailed account of the life of the musical from 1969–1973. Behind the scenes look at the evolution of Jesus Christ Superstar from an album to a Broadway musical, exploring the breakthroughs, the frustrations, and the pitfalls. Never-before-seen photos and new interviews. 232 pages.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Behind the Scenes of the Worldwide Musical Phenomenon Cover
Everywhere an Oink Oink: An Embittered, Dyspeptic, and Accurate Report of Forty Years in Hollywood (12/5/2023)

By David Mamet, with illustrations by David Mamet. The author " shares scandalous and laugh-out-loud tales from his four decades in Hollywood where he worked with some of the biggest names in movies." Audiobook narrated by Jim Frangione. 256 pages.

Everywhere an Oink Oink: An Embittered, Dyspeptic, and Accurate Report of Forty Years Cover
Fifty Key Theatre Designers (11/25/2023)

By Arnold Aronson. Looks at the history of theatrical scenography by examining the work and contributions of fifty set, costume, lighting, and projection designers since the Renaissance ... including opera, dance, Broadway and West End commercial theatre, avant-garde performance, and even Olympic spectacles. Each chapter features one designer, with basic biographical information and a discussion of that artist's style, aesthetics, and contributions. 330 pages.

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Failure, Fascism, and Teachers in American Theatre: Pedagogy of the Oppressors (11/24/2023)

Explores the shifting representations of schoolteachers and professors in plays and performances primarily from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in the United States. Examining various historical and recurring types, such as spinsters, schoolmarms, presumed sexual deviants, radicals and communists, fascists, and emasculated men teachers, the author shines the spotlight on both well-known and nearly-forgotten plays. 230 pages.

Failure, Fascism, and Teachers in American Theatre: Pedagogy of the Oppressors Cover
Conversations in Color: Exploring North American Musical Theatre (11/16/2023)

By Sean Mayes. Unveils the untold stories and perspectives of artists of color shaping the stage today, through interviews drawn from Broadway and regional productions, including André De Shields, Alex Lacamoire, Baayork Lee, and many more. 168 pages.

Conversations in Color: Exploring North American Musical Theatre Cover
Purple Rising: Celebrating 40 Years of the Magic, Power, and Artistry of The Color Purple (11/7/2023)

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece "The Color Purple," as well as the acclaimed 1985 film from Steven Spielberg, the Tony-winning Broadway musical, and the all-new film adaptation. An exploration of the novel’s enduring legacy, featuring contributions from Alice Walker, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Colman Domingo, Fantasia Barrino, Danny Glover, and more. Oral histories and fresh anecdotes based on more than fifty original interviews, as well as vibr...

Purple Rising: Celebrating 40 Years of the Magic, Power, and Artistry of The Color Pu Cover
My Name Is Barbra (11/7/2023)

Barbra Streisand's memoir detailing her life from growing up in Brooklyn to the early days of her career, including her breakout performance in the musical and film versions of Funny Girl, and the years after. Audiobook narrated by the author. 992 pages.

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Poster Child: The Psychedelic Art & Technicolor Life of David Edward Byrd (10/24/2023)

Graphic artist David Edward Byrd pioneered the iconic visual styles that have come to define rock 'n' roll graphics through his poster, concert, and album art designs. He also created the iconic imagery for many Broadway shows, including Follies, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Little Shop of Horrors, and more. 176 pages.

Poster Child: The Psychedelic Art & Technicolor Life of David Edward Byrd Cover
Public/Private: My Life with Joe Papp at The Public Theater (10/17/2023)

Memoir blending a behind-the-scenes history about New York City's Public Theater with an engrossing account of her life working alongside her husband, the Public's founder Joe Papp. 392 pages.

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C'mon, Get Happy: The Making of Summer Stock (10/16/2023)

A comprehensive study of this 1950 motion picture, from start to finish and after its release. The authors discuss in detail the contributions of the cast (which included Gloria DeHaven, Eddie Bracken, Phil Silvers, and Marjorie Main), the director (Charles Walters), the producer (Joe Pasternak), the script writers (George Wells and Sy Gomberg), the songwriters (which included Harry Warren and Mack Gordon), and top MGM executives (Louis B. Mayer and Dore Schary). Features extensive interviews, ...

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Michael Ball: Different Aspects, A Memoir (10/12/2023)

Michael Ball takes the reader backstage inside the making of a West End hit, while diving back into memories to explore that moment in his twenties when the world was at his feet and his life changed beyond recognition. 304 pages.

Michael Ball: Different Aspects, A Memoir Cover
Reviewing the Situation: the British Musical from Noël Coward to Lionel Bart (10/5/2023)

Traces what made shows like Oliver!, Me and My Girl, The Dancing Years, Bless the Bride and Expresso Bongo successes in the West End and how their qualities define a uniquely British interpretation of the genre. Detailed case studies, such as The Boy Friend and Bitter Sweet. 208 pages. Released 10/5/23.

Reviewing the Situation: the British Musical from Noël Coward to Lionel Bart Cover
Seriously Mad: Mental Distress and the Broadway Musical (10/5/2023)

An account of stage musicals' engagement with historically significant theories about mental distress, illness, disability, and human variance in the United States. Shows how theater dramatized serious medical conditions and social problems. Among the many Broadway productions discussed are Next to Normal, A Strange Loop, Sweeney Todd, Man of La Mancha, Dear World, Anyone Can Whistle, Gypsy, Oklahoma!, and Lady in the Dark.

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Patrick Stewart - Making It So: A Memoir (10/3/2023)

Sir Patrick Stewart memoir. From his humble beginnings in Yorkshire, England, to the heights of Hollywood and worldwide acclaim. Audio version read by the author. 480 pages.

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J Is for Judy: Classic Hollywood's Leading Ladies from A to Z (10/3/2023)

From Audrey Hepburn to Zsa Zsa Gabor, a star-studded alphabet book featuring the greatest ladies of the classic era of American movies (from the creators of "A Is for Audra and B Is for Broadway"). Hollywood history, spellbinding scenes, captivating costumes, and sparkling sets. Reading age 3 - 7 years. 48 pages.

J Is for Judy: Classic Hollywood's Leading Ladies from A to Z Cover
Backstage: Portraits of Actors at Work in the Theatre (9/27/2023)

Series of photographs by Simon Annand behind the scenes in London theaters, capturing actors before they go on stage. Foreword by Cate Blanchett. 256 pages.

Backstage: Portraits of Actors at Work in the Theatre Cover
Backstage: Portraits of Actors at Work in the Theatre (9/27/2023)

Series of photographs by Simon Annand that go behind the scenes in London theaters, capturing actors before they go on stage. Foreword by Cate Blanchett. 256 pages.

Backstage: Portraits of Actors at Work in the Theatre Cover
Sondheim: His Life, His Shows, His Legacy (9/19/2023)

"Offers a witty multidimensional look at the musical genius ..." Explores the bond between Sondheim and his audiences ... examines the challenging Sondheim works that continue to develop devoted new followings. "... a lavish, highly engrossing documentation of the dynamic force who reshaped twentieth-century American musical history."

Sondheim: His Life, His Shows, His Legacy Cover
Right This Way: A History of the Audience (9/15/2023)

Pop history of audiences through the ages. Walks us through the different types of audiences and the history of their changing behaviors, what science has to say about how our brains respond to what we experience, how technology will continue to shape audiences, and why, during COVID-19, people risked a deadly virus to be part of a crowd. Drawing on perspectives from critics, performers, scholars, and many others. 256 pages.

Right This Way: A History of the Audience Cover
Leading Lady: A Memoir of a Most Unusual Boy (9/12/2023)

By Charles Busch. Anecdotal account of the artist's journey in the worlds of Off-Broadway, Broadway, and Hollywood as a playwright, LGBT icon, drag actor, director, and cabaret performer. Features rare photos. 288 pages.

Leading Lady: A Memoir of a Most Unusual Boy Cover
Adrienne Kennedy: Collected Plays & Other Writings (9/12/2023)

Marc Robinson, editor. Collected edition of Adrienne Kennedy's wide-ranging writings, spanning six decades and including ten unpublished works: the early surrealistic one-acts A Lesson in Dead Language and A Rat's Mass; works like A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White and Film Festival: The Day Jean Seberg Died that reveal Kennedy's longstanding fascination with Hollywood and film culture; Ohio State Murders, one of several plays featuring her protagonist Suzanne Alexander and the first o...

Adrienne Kennedy: Collected Plays & Other Writings Cover
Bing and Billie and Frank and Ella and Judy and Barbra (9/5/2023)

Interlocking story of the lives and careers American songbook interpreters Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, and Barbra Streisand. 384 pages.

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How to Survive a Killer Musical: Agony and Ecstasy on the Road to Broadway (9/1/2023)

Chronicles Cohen's decade-long quest to bring No Way to Treat a Lady to the stage–writing, re-writing, and shepherding it across the US and Europe amidst all manner of adversity and plain rotten luck. A portrait of passion, persistence, and resilience. Cast of characters includes an Oscar-winning screenwriter who invites Cohen to his personal screening room for a marathon midnight writing session; a Tony Award-winning director making his comeback after a horrific accident renders him a quadripl...

How to Survive a Killer Musical: Agony and Ecstasy on the Road to Broadway Cover
August Wilson: A Life (8/15/2023)

Biography of August Wilson by Patti Hartigan, who interviewed Wilson many times before his death and traces his life from his childhood in Pittsburgh to Broadway. She also interviewed scores of friends, theater colleagues and family members, and conducted extensive research to tell the story of a writer who left an indelible imprint on American theater and opened the door for future playwrights of color. 592 pages.

August Wilson: A Life Cover
Eleanor Powell: Born to Dance (8/8/2023)

Follows the American dance legend from her premature birth into a single-parent home in Springfield, Massachusetts, to her first Broadway performance at age fifteen, through her days as a blazing icon in the world of Hollywood, and finally, to her inspiring comeback. From rare documents, letters, and production files; and drawing on the authors' intimate personal relationships with Powell.

Eleanor Powell: Born to Dance Cover
20 Seasons: Broadway Musicals of the 21st Century (8/3/2023)

Catalogues, categorizes, and analyzes the 269 musicals that opened on Broadway from the 2000-2001 season through the 2019-2020 season. 228 pages.

20 Seasons: Broadway Musicals of the 21st Century Cover
Small Town Sins: A Novel (8/1/2023)

In Locksburg, Pennsylvania, a former coal and steel town whose best days seem long past, five thousand residents have toughed it out, and have reasons for both worry and hope as this neglected place teeters between decay and renewal. For some of them, their biggest troubles have just arrived. After years of just scraping by, three restless souls have their lives upended: Nathan, a volunteer fireman who uncovers a secret stash of money in a burning building and takes it; Callie, a nurse whose...

Small Town Sins: A Novel Cover
Rescuing CATS: The Musical That's Better Than You Think (7/30/2023)

No matter how you approach it, Cats is so much more than a silly dance revue based on some silly poems, so much more than a punchline. Why has Cats been such a huge, longstanding commercial success around the world? Why do people see it over and over? Cats is literally about life and death. Cats is about us.

Rescuing CATS: The Musical That's Better Than You Think Cover
Racing the Great White Way: Black Performance, Eugene O’Neill, and the Transformation of Broadway (7/27/2023)

The early drama of Eugene O’Neill, with its emphasis on racial themes and conflicts, opened up extraordinary opportunities for Black performers to challenge racist structures in modern theater and cinema. By adapting O’Neill’s dramatic writing—changing scripts to omit offensive epithets, inserting African American music and dance, or including citations of Black internationalism--theater artists of color have used O’Neill’s texts to raze barriers in American and transatlantic theater.

Racing the Great White Way: Black Performance, Eugene O’Neill, and the Transformation Cover
Out For Blood: A Cultural History of Carrie the Musical (7/27/2023)

Featuring contributions from over eighty original cast members, creatives, crew and audience members, Out For Blood pieces together the surprising, hilarious and often-moving inside story of Carrie The Musical to discover how this 'horror of a Broadway musical' lived, died and was subsequently resurrected as a mainstream success story. In 1988, following the success of its production of Les Misérables and in the wake of the commercial success of mega-musicals such as Cats, Phantom of the Opera...

Out For Blood: A Cultural History of Carrie the Musical Cover
A Man of Much Importance: The Art and Life of Terrence McNally (7/15/2023)

Biography of playwright and musical bookwriter Terrence McNally. Looks at his life and work against the backdrop of a dynamic theatrical culture, tracing the ways in which an artist grows and responds to reality. Based on interviews with McNally and with many of the artists with which he worked. 408 pages.

A Man of Much Importance: The Art and Life of Terrence McNally Cover
Garland - That's Beyond Entertainment - Reflections on Judy Garland Volume 1 (7/10/2023)

Part of two-volume set. Detailed, illustrated study that covers Schulman's writings on Garland between 1993 and 2023 that concentrate on her recordings. Utilizes published articles, reviews, liner notes, interviews, program notes, talks, and prefaces. Includes all the facts but does not exclude amusing anecdotes and unsettling stories that shed light on this complicated artist. 294 pages. Released 7/10/23.

Garland - That's Beyond Entertainment - Reflections on Judy Garland Volume 1 Cover



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