"[A] treasure trove for fans of the musical theatre." - Richard Ouzonian, Toronto Star
And no Ziegfeld girl ever did as she made her way down the gala stairways of the Ziegfeld Follies in some of the most astonishing spectacles the American theatergoing public ever witnessed. When Florenz Ziegfeld started in theater, it was flea circus, operetta and sideshow all rolled into one. When he left it, the glamorous world of "show-biz" had been created. Though many know him as the man who "glorified the American girl," his first real star attraction was the bodybuilder Eugen Sandow, who flexed his muscles and thrilled the society matrons who came backstage to squeeze his biceps. His lesson learned with Sandow, Ziegfeld went on to present Anna Held, the naughty French sensation, who became the first Mrs. Ziegfeld. He was one of the first impresarios to mix headliners of different ethnic backgrounds, and literally the earliest proponent of mixed-race casting. The stars he showcased and, in some cases, created have become legends: Billie Burke (who also became his wife), elfin Marilyn Miller, cowboy Will Rogers, Bert Williams, W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor and, last but not least, neighborhood diva Fanny Brice. A man of voracious sexual appetites when it came to beautiful women, Ziegfeld knew what he wanted and what others would want as well. From that passion, the Ziegfeld Girl was born. Elaborately bejeweled, they wore little more than a smile as they glided through eye-popping tableaux that were the highlight of the Follies, presented almost every year from 1907 to 1931. Ziegfeld's reputation and power, however, went beyond the stage of the Follies as he produced a number of other musicals, among them the ground-breaking Show Boat. In Ziegfeld: The Man Who Created Show Business, Ethan Mordden recreates the lost world of the Follies, a place of long-vanished beauty masterminded by one of the most inventive, ruthless, street-smart and exacting men ever to fill a theatre on the Great White Way : Florenz Ziegfeld.
In this, the first volume in Ethan Mordden's acclaimed trilogy on Manhattan gay life, he introduces a small group of friends-Dennis Savage, Little Kiwi, Carlos, and the narrator, Bud-and chronicles their exploration of the new world of gay life and the new people they are in the process of becoming.
In a voice at once ironic, wistful, witty, and profound, Mordden investigates his suspicion that all of gay life is stories and that, somehow or other, all these stories are about love.
For the first time, Ethan Mordden chronicles the romance of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya in Love Song, a dual biography that unfolds against the background of the tumultuous twentieth century, scored to music from Weil's greatest triumphs: Knickerbocker Holiday, Lost in the Stars, Lady in the Dark, Happy End, One Touch of Venus and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. The romance of Weill, the Jewish cantor's son, and Lenya, the Viennese coachman's daughter, changed the history of Western music. With Bertolt Brecht, they created one of the definitive works of the twentieth century, The Threepenny Opera, a smash that would live on in musical theatre history. Weill, the jazz Mozart, was the creator whose work is backstage, unseen. Lenya, his epic-theatre femme fatale, was the performer who put the work into view. They heard the same unique music, but he gave it form while she gave it life. Love Song is ultimately the story of a great romance scored to some of the twentieth century's greatest music.
This book is about those relationships-mostly gay but some straight and even a few between gays and straights. Here also are fathers and brothers and stories of men in their youth, when rivalry often develops more naturally than alliance. In Buddies Mordden continues to map the unstoried wilderness of gay life today.
After a hiatus of eight years, Ethan Mordden returns to the fictional universe for which he is most beloved in this latest, possibly last, volume in his much lauded "Buddies" cycle. Following the exploits of his best-loved characters -- Dennis Savage, J. (who was once Little Kiwi), Carlo, the slowly maturing 'elf-child' Cosgrove, and narrator Bud -- as he lays bare the changed emotional landscape of the city within a city that is Gay Manhattan. Blending the comic, the sexy, the tragic, and the at once idealistic and realistic, these stories are Ethan Mordden at his very best.
And there's trouble in paradise: Dennis Savage is suffering midlife crisisl; his lover little Kiwi who uses sex as a weapon, threatens to tear apart the delicate fabric of this gay family of buddies, lovers, and brothers and the AIDS crisis may bring an end to this whole world.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking musical Hamilton is as revolutionary as its subject, the poor kid from the Caribbean who fought the British, defended the Constitution, and helped to found the United States. Fusing hip-hop, pop, R&B, and the best traditions of theater, this once-in-a-generation show broadens the sound of Broadway, reveals the storytelling power of rap, and claims our country's origins for a diverse new generation.
HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION gives readers an unprecedented view of both revolutions, from the only two writers able to provide it. Miranda, along with Jeremy McCarter, a cultural critic and theater artist who was involved in the project from its earliest stages--"since before this was even a show," according to Miranda--traces its development from an improbable performance at the White House to its landmark opening night on Broadway six years later. In addition, Miranda has written more than 200 funny, revealing footnotes for his award-winning libretto, the full text of which is published here.
Their account features photos by the renowned Frank Ockenfels and veteran Broadway photographer, Joan Marcus; exclusive looks at notebooks and emails; interviews with Questlove, Stephen Sondheim, leading political commentators, and more than 50 people involved with the production; and multiple appearances by President Obama himself. The book does more than tell the surprising story of how a Broadway musical became a national phenomenon: It demonstrates that America has always been renewed by the brash upstarts and brilliant outsiders, the men and women who don't throw away their shot.
"To me the most interesting aspect of the success of Man of La Mancha is the fact that it plows squarely upstream against the prevailing current of philosophy in the theater. That current is best identified by its catch-labels--Theater of the Absurd, Black Comedy, the Theater of Cruelty--which is to say the theater of alienation, of moral anarchy and despair. To the practitioners of those philosophies Man of La Mancha must seem hopelessly naive in its espousal of illusion as man's strongest spiritual need, the most meaningful function of his imagination. But I've no unhappiness about that. "Facts are the enemy of truth," says Cervantes-Don Quixote. And that is precisely what I felt and meant."--Dale Wasserman, from the Preface.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“A rich, lovely, debut history of New York theater in the 1970s and eighties” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Razzle Dazzle is a narrative account of the people and the money and the power that turned New York’s gritty back alleys and sex-shops into the glitzy, dazzling Great White Way.
In the mid-1970s Times Square was the seedy symbol of New York’s economic decline. Its once shining star, the renowned Shubert Organization, was losing theaters to make way for parking lots and losing money. Bernard Jacobs and Jerry Schoenfeld, two ambitious board members, saw the crumbling company was ripe for takeover and staged a coup and staved off corporate intrigue, personal betrayals and criminal investigations. Once Jacobs and Schoenfeld solidified their power, they turned a collapsed theater-owning holding company into one of the most successful entertainment empires in the world, spearheading the revitalization of Broadway and the renewal of Times Square.
“For those interested in the business behind the greasepaint, at a riveting time in Broadway’s and New York’s history, this is the ticket” (USA TODAY). Michael Riedel tells the stories of the Shubert Organization and the shows that re-built a city in grand style—including Cats, A Chorus Line, and Mamma Mia!—revealing the backstage drama that often rivaled what transpired onstage, exposing bitter rivalries, unlikely alliances, and inside gossip. “The trouble with Razzle Dazzle is…you can’t put the damn thing down” (Huffington Post).
important composer-lyricist at work in musical theatre today, Meryle Secrest, the biographer of Frank Lloyd Wright and Leonard Bernstein, draws on her extended conversations with Stephen Sondheim as well as on her interviews with his friends, family, collaborators, and lovers to bring us not only the artist--as a master of
modernist compositional style--but also the private man.
Beginning with his early childhood on New York's prosperous Upper West Side, Secrest describes how Sondheim was taught to play the piano by his father, a successful dress manufacturer and amateur musician. She writes about Sondheim's early ambition to become a concert pianist, about the effect on him of his parents' divorce when he was ten, about his years in military and private schools. She writes about his feelings of loneliness and abandonment, about the refuge he found in the home of Oscar and Dorothy Hammerstein, and his determination to become just like Oscar.
Secrest describes the years when Sondheim was struggling to gain a foothold in the theatre, his attempts at scriptwriting (in his early twenties in Rome on the
set of Beat the Devil with Bogart and Huston, and later in Hollywood as a co-writer with George Oppenheimer for the TV series Topper), living the Hollywood life.
Here is Sondheim's ascent to the peaks of the Broadway musical, from his chance meeting with play-
wright Arthur Laurents, which led to his first success--
as co-lyricist with Leonard Bernstein on West Side Story--to his collaboration with Laurents on Gypsy, to his first full Broadway score, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. And Secrest writes about his first big success as composer, lyricist, writer in the 1960s with Company, an innovative and sophisticated musical that examined marriage à la mode. It was the start of an almost-twenty-year collaboration with producer and director Hal Prince that resulted in such shows as Follies, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, and
A Little Night Music.
We see Sondheim at work with composers, producers, directors, co-writers, actors, the greats of his time and ours, among them Leonard Bernstein, Ethel Merman, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein, Jerome Robbins, Zero Mostel, Bernadette Peters, and Lee Remick (with whom it was said he was in love, and she with him), as Secrest vividly re-creates the energy, the passion, the despair, the excitement, the genius, that went into the making of show after Sondheim show.
A biography that is sure to become the standard work on Sondheim's life and art.
From the Hardcover edition.
Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Musicals shows how American culture has changed over the twentieth century, from the Roaring Twenties (The Wild Party) to the cultural chaos of the '50s (Grease) and the sexual revolution of the '60s (Hair) and '70s (Rocky Horror), to the rebirth of the art form in the '90s (Bat Boy), and up to the present, exploring where we've been and where we might be heading. This is a celebration of the counter-culture taking center stage in the most American of performing arts, and changing it forever.
Master of Ceremonies is a memoir of a life lived in and out of the limelight, but it is also the story of the man behind the stage makeup. Coming of age in a time when being yourself tended to be not only difficult but also dangerous, Joel has to act both on and off the stage. He spends his high school years sleeping with the girls-next-door while carrying on a scandalous affair with an older man. Romances with to-die-for Vegas Showgirls are balanced with late night liaisons with like-minded guys, until finally Joel falls in love and marries a talented and beautiful woman, starts a family, and has a pretty much picture perfect life. But 24 years later when the marriage dissolves, Joel has to once again find his place in a world that has radically changed.
Drawing back the curtain on a career filled with show-stopping numbers, larger-than-life stars and even singing in the shower with Bjork, Master of Ceremonies is also a portrait of an artist coming to terms with his evolving identity. When an actor plays a character, he has to find out what makes them who they are; their needs, dreams, and fears. It’s a difficult thing to do, but sometimes the hardest role in an actor’s life is that of himself. Deftly capturing the joy of performing as well as the pain and secrets of an era we have only just started to leave behind, Joel’s story is one of love, loss, hard-won honesty, redemption, and success.
“Rock is alive and rolling like thunder in Next to Normal. It’s the best musical of the season by a mile...an emotional powerhouse with a fire in its soul and a wicked wit that burns just as fiercely.”—Rolling Stone
“No show on Broadway right now makes as a direct grab for the heart—or wrings it as thoroughly—as Next to Normal does. . . . [It] focuses squarely on the pain that cripples the members of a suburban family, and never for a minute does it let you escape the anguish at the core of their lives. Next to Normal does not, in other words, qualify as your standard feel-good musical. Instead this portrait of a manic-depressive mother and the people she loves and damages is something much more: a feel-everything musical, which asks you, with operatic force, to discover the liberation in knowing where it hurts.”—Ben Brantley, The New York Times
Winner of three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Next to Normal is also available in an original cast recording. It was named Best Musical of the Season by Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
Brian Yorkey received the 2009 Tony Award for Best Original Score for his work on Next to Normal and was also nominated for Best Book of a Musical. His other credits include Making Tracks and Time After Time.
Tom Kitt received two 2009 Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations for Next to Normal. He also composed the music for High Fidelity and From Up Here. His string arrangements appear on the new Green Day album 21st Century Breakdown, and he is the leader of the Tom Kitt Band.
Updates in this expanded and revised second edition include:
A brand new companion website for students and teachers, including Powerpoint lecture slides, sample syllabi, and checklists for projects and exercises.
Learning outcomes for each chapter to guide teachers and students through the book’s core ideas and lessons
New style overviews for pop and jukebox musicals
Extensive updated professional insights from field testing with students, young professionals, and industry showcases
Full-colour production images, bringing each chapter to life
Acting in Musical Theatre’s chapters divide into easy-to-reference units, each containing group and solo exercises, making it the definitive textbook for students and practitioners alike.
“[Kellow] has painted a vivid portrait of a Broadway diva who shone brighter and sang louder than anyone else.”—The Washington Post BookWorld
More than twenty years after her death, Ethel Merman continues to set the standard for American musical theater. The stories about the supremely talented, famously strong-willed, fearsomely blunt, and terrifyingly exacting woman are stuff of legend. But who was Ethel Agnes Zimmermann, really? Brian Kellow’s definitive biography of the great Merman is superb, and the first account to examine both the artist and the woman with as much critical rigor as empathy. Through dozens of interviews with her colleagues, friends, and family members, Kellow (author of Can I Go Now?: The Life of Sue Mengers, Hollywood's First Superagent) traces the arc of her life and her thirty-year singing career to reveal many surprising facts about Broadway’s biggest star.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
* Skid Row (Downtown)
* Grow for Me
* Somewhere That's Green
* Some Fun Now
* Suddenly, Seymour
* The Meek Shall Inherit
* Mean Green Mother from Outerspace and more.
Driven by a stage mother to become rich and Famous, but unable to cope with the career she had longed for as a child, Darnell soon was caught in a downward spiral of drinking, failed marriages, and exploitive relationships. By her early twenties she was an alcoholic, hardened by a life in which beautiful women were chattel, and by the time of her death at age forty- one, she was struggling for recognition in the industry that once had called her its "glory girl.”
Hollywood Beauty begins in the Southwest during the Depression, when Pearl Darnell became obsessed by the glitter of the movie world that would dominate her children’s lives. We follow Linda’s path from her Texas childhood and first public success–during the state centennial, in 1936–through her contract work with Twentieth Century-Fox in the heyday of the big-studio system. Film historian Ronald L. Davis documents Darnell’s discovery and marriages, the adoption of her daughter, the marking of many well-known films, and her emotional difficulties, leading up to her tragic death by fire.
This is the story of a native teenager from a dysfunctional middle-class family thrust into the golden age of Hollywood. Hollywood Beauty examines America’s public worship of movie stars and superficial success–its motives and consequences–and the addiction to escapism that this worship represents.
*Price and Son Theme
*The Most Beautiful Thing in the World
*Take What You Got
*Land of Lola
*Sex Is in the Heel
*The History of Wrong Guys
*Not My Father's Son
*Everybody Say Yeah
*What a Woman Wants
*In This Corner
*Charlie's Soliloquy (Reprise)
*Soul of a Man
*Hold Me in Your Heart
*Raise You Up / Just Be
* Dancing QueenŒæ
* Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!Œæ
* Mamma MiaŒæ
* Honey, HoneyŒæ
* Money, Money, MoneyŒæ
* The Name of the GameŒæ
* Super TrouperŒæ
* Thank You for the MusicŒæ
* I Have a DreamŒæ
* Under AttackŒæ
* The Winner Takes It All and many more!
“Fascinating . . . Wasson has taken complete control of his subject.” — Wall Street Journal
The only person ever to win Oscar, Emmy, and Tony awards in the same year, Bob Fosse revolutionized nearly every facet of American entertainment. His signature style would influence generations of performing artists. Yet in spite of Fosse’s innumerable—including Cabaret, Pippin, All That Jazz, and Chicago, one of the longest-running Broadway musicals ever—his offstage life was shadowed by deep wounds and insatiable appetites.
To craft this richly detailed account, best-selling author Sam Wasson has drawn on a wealth of unpublished material and hundreds of sources: friends, enemies, lovers, and collaborators, many of them speaking publicly about Fosse for the first time. With propulsive energy and stylish prose, Fosse is the definitive biography of one of Broadway and Hollywood’s most complex and dynamic icons.
“Spellbinding.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Impeccably researched.” —Vanity Fair
An NPR Best Book of the Year
This provides insights into the many impressive musicals to hit the stage between the years of 1927 and 1987, illuminating how specific revisions to productions such as Showboat and, Oklahoma! forever changed their popularity. Learn how music is used as a symbol for psychological or emotional action from Shakespearean drama's such as Kiss Me, Kate and West Side Story, to more current dramas including Godspell, A Chorus Line, and Jesus Christ Superstar.
Replete with a never seen before essay on Les Misérables, this edition also includes an expanded epilogue highlighting the phenomena behind Miss Saigon and Phantom of the Opera, "megamusicals" that changed the direction of the Broadway tradition.
For professors of dramatic arts and people interested in Broadway musicals, theater, popular music and opera.
Alfred Music now introduces the music to some of Cirque du Soleil's most popular songs, derived from a variety of show soundtracks. This updated volume includes selections from TOTEM, KOOZA, OVO, KÀ, and O. Songs come complete with lyrics, melody line, and chord changes with professionally arranged piano accompaniment.
* Alegría (from Alegría)
* All Come Together (from Amaluna)
* Alone (from DELIRIUM)
* Banquete (from OVO)
* Blue Silk (from ZED)
* Flying Scarlett (from IRIS - A Journey Through the World of Cinema)
* Gamelan (from O)
* If I Could Reach Your Heart (from KÀ)
* Kumbalawé (from Saltimbanco)
* Kunya Sobé (from Mystère Live)
* Let Me Fall (from Quidam)
* Liama (from La Nouba)
* Love Dance (from KÀ)
* Mio Bello Bello Amore (from Zumanity: Another Side of Cirque du Soleil)
* Nostalgie (from O)
* O (from O)
* Ombra (from Dralion)
* Omé Yo Kanoubé (from TOTEM)
* Pageant (from KÀ)
* Pearl (from KOOZA)
* Pokinoï (from Saltimbanco)
* Qué Viyéra (from TOTEM)
* Querer (from Alegría)
* Quidam (from Quidam)
* Solitude (from KOOZA)
* Time Flies (from DELIRIUM)
* Triangle Tango (from Corteo)
Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are the longest-running composer-lyricist team in Broadway history, having first joined forces in 1962. The creators of such groundbreaking musicals as Chicago, Cabaret, and Kiss of the Spider Woman, Kander and Ebb have helped to push American musical theater in a more daring direction, both musically and dramatically. Their impact on individual performers has been great as well, starting with the handpicked star of their first musical: an untested nineteen-year-old named Liza Minnelli (who writes of this experience in her introduction).
Colored Lights covers the major shows of Kander and Ebb's partnership, from Flora, The Red Menace (starring a then-unknown Liza) to The Visit, due to open on Broadway in 2004. The pages and musicals in between reveal what has made theirs such a long-lived musical partnership--and one so valued by the artists they have worked with. In recounting the genesis and controversies of Cabaret, reflecting on the superstar mentality of such artist as Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand, and recalling their work with Bob Fosse on Chicago (as well as their views on the blockbuster 2002 film), John Kander and Fred Ebb provide a history not only of their own lives but also of the American musical theater of the late twentieth century.
This book was a kind of last hurrah. When I read it, I hear a disarmingly younger, sweeter voice…I am not sure that this little confection captures a whole time, but I think it’s an accurate picture of the spirit and tone of what I was doing in those days...I hope it holds up, and that you find your best younger self in it as I do...
With her brassy voice and bold performances making the world finally pay attention, this ambitious Jewish girl from Hawaii, needs no introduction. Grammy award–winning singer, Academy Award–nominee, Broadway star of her critically acclaimed one-woman show, and beloved actress in The Rose, Beaches, and Down and Out in Beverly Hills—Bette Midler is a household name whose career and fans span generations.
In A View from A Broad, Bette relives her career through memories of endless rehearsals, her fear of flying, crazy schedules, and wisdom she learned from Thai Gondoliers with her trademark razor-blade wit that her fans have grown to know, love, and expect.
Filled with photographs, a new introduction, and heartwarming stories that highlight only a portion of a brilliant career, A View from a Broad is the perfect gift for anyone who loves music, theater, or just plain fun—and will be cherished by the fans of Divine Miss M for years to come.
As you might imagine, writing a Broadway musical has its challenges. But it turns out there are challenges one can’t begin to imagine when collaborating with two rock legends and a superstar director to stage the biggest, most expensive production in theater history. Renowned director Julie Taymor picked playwright Glen Berger to cowrite the book for a $25 million Spider-Man musical. Together—along with U2’s Bono and Edge—they would shape a work that was technically daring and emotionally profound, with a story fueled by the hero’s quest for love…and the villains’ quest for revenge. Or at least, that’s what they’d hoped for.
But when charismatic producer Tony Adams died suddenly, the show began to lose its footing. Soon the budget was ballooning, financing was evaporating, and producers were jumping ship or getting demoted. And then came the injuries. And then came word-of-mouth about the show itself. What followed was a pageant of foul-ups, falling-outs, ever-more harrowing mishaps, and a whole lot of malfunctioning spider legs. This “circus-rock-and-roll-drama,” with its $65 million price tag, had become more of a spectacle than its creators ever wished for. During the show’s unprecedented seven months of previews, the company’s struggles to reach opening night inspired breathless tabloid coverage and garnered international notoriety.
Through it all, Berger observed the chaos with his signature mix of big ambition and self-deprecating humor.
“The staggering purity of this show will touch all open hearts…In its refined, imaginative simplicity, it daringly reverses all the conventional rules by returning the American musical to an original state of innocence.”—John Heilpern, The New York Observer
“An unexpected jolt of sudden genius, edgy in its brutally honest, unromanticized depiction of human sexuality.”—New York Post
Spring Awakening is an extraordinary new rock musical with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Duncan Sheik. Inspired by Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play about teenage sexuality and society’s efforts to control it, the piece seamlessly merges past and present, underscoring the timelessness of adolescent angst and the universality of human passion.
Steven Sater’s plays include the long-running Carbondale Dreams, Perfect for You, Doll (Rosenthal Prize/Cincinnati Playhouse), Umbrage (Steppenwolf New Play Prize), and a reconceived version of Shakespeare’s Tempest, which played in London.
Duncan Sheik is a singer/songwriter who also collaborated with Sater on the musical The Nightingale. He has composed original music for The Gold Rooms of Nero and for The Public Theater’s Twelfth Night in Central Park.
Journalist Mickey Rapkin follows a season in collegiate a cappella, covering the breathtaking displays of vocal talent, the groupies (yes, a cappella singers have groupies), the rock-star partying (and run-ins with the law), and all the bitter rivalries. Along the way are encounters with a cappella alums like John Legend and Diane Sawyer and fans from Prince to presidents.
Bringing a lively new twist to America's fascination with talent showdowns, Pitch Perfect is sure to strike a chord with readers.
Louisiana, 1963: A nation reeling from the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement and the Kennedy assassination. Caroline, a black maid, and Noah, the son of the Jewish family she works for, struggle to find an identity for their friendship. Through their intimate story, this beautiful new musical portrays the changing rhythms of a nation. Tony Kushner and composer Jeanine Tesori have created a story that addresses contemporary questions of culture, community, race and class through the lens and musical pulse of the 1960s.
Tony Kushner is best known for the two-part masterwork, Angels in America, recently produced by HBO as a six-hour television event, directed by Mike Nichols to universal acclaim. His other plays include Homebody/Kabul, A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs!; as well as adaptations of Corneille’s The Illusion, Ansky’s The Dybbuk, Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechuan and Goethe’s Stella. Current projects include: Henry Box Brown or The Mirror of Slavery and St. Cecilia or The Power of Music. He recently collaborated with Maurice Sendak on an American version of the children’s opera, Brundibar. He grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and he lives in New York.
Jeanine Tesori wrote the score for Thoroughly Modern Millie, which won the 2002 Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical and the multiple-award-winning Violet.