"Nothing quite prepares you for the disturbing brilliance of Assassins." -David Richards, The New York Times
"Dark, demented humor, as horrifying as it is hilarious." -Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press
"Intelligent and thrilling musical theatre. Dazzling in its originality." -Ken Mandelbaum, Theaterweek
Stephen Sondheim's groundbreaking achievements in musical theatre attain a new level of audacity and accomplishment in his latest creation, Assassins. Evoking a fraternity of Presidential assassins and would-be assassins across a hundred years of our history (including John Wilkes Booth, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, John Hinckley and Lee Harvey Oswald), he and collaborator John Weidman examine success, failure and the questionable drive for power and celebrity in American society. The result is an unusually imaginative and utterly idiosyncratic entertainment compounded equally of insight, pleasure, and provocation. Assassins is an important and permanent addition to the American stage.
This is the ultimate backstage tour of Broadway AT THIS THEATRE tells the complete history of Broadway in the 20th century, theatre by theatre. This gorgeous book is now updated, revised and with a larger format, covering 1900 to 2001. PLAYBILL's columnist, Louis Botto, along with Robert Viagas, opens the doors and lets readers explore the 40 active Broadway theatres in New York. From the conception and design of the buildings, to their original creators, and on to the theatres' transformation, often under duress, from legitimate houses to vaudeville and Burlesque, to movie houses and then back to their original purpose, this book captures the magical world of Broadway. It is a complete and authoritative history that only Botto, the curator of PLAYBILL's incomparable 116-year-old archives, can tell. Expanded from his popular column in PLAYBILL magazine, AT THIS THEATRE is the biography of those living, breathing buildings we call theatres. In this substantially updated version, Botto includes the histories of all the theatres rescued from the wrecker in the last ten years, including the American Airlines Theatre, Disney's New Amsterdam, and the Lyric and the Apollo, now combined into the Ford Center. AT THIS THEATRE is filled with great stories featuring a cast of characters including Ethel Merman, David Merrick, Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy. And it's also a theatrical spectacle boasting lavish illustrations of posters, programs, and photographs throughout. This is the gift book for every theatre lover on your list, including yourself
Theatregoers' favorite history of Broadway is back in an updated and expanded 2010 edition including more than 500 color production photos, vintage archival photos, and Playbill covers from all forty currently operating Broadway theatres. Thirty-eight of the original chapters have been expanded to cover all the shows that have opened in the ten years since the popular 2000 edition, with two new chapters added to include Broadway theatres recently refurbished and returned to life. This unique chronicle is the first work to present a detailed theatre-by-theatre roundup of players and productions that have enchanted audiences at Broadway's great playhouses from 1900 to 2010. The work is an expanded treatment of "At This Theatre " the popular feature in Playbill's Broadway theatre programs. "At This Theatre" offers playgoers instant nostalgia by listing notable hits (and some famed fiascos) that have played through the years in the theatre that they are attending. The book also pays tribute to the distinguished impresarios who built and managed these houses, and the brilliant architects and interior designers who created them. The original 1984 edition was created by Playbill senior editor Louis Botto. Botto worked with editor Robert Viagas on the 2000 update. With the third edition, Botto has passed the author torch to Viagas, who founded Playbill.com and the acclaimed Playbill Broadway Yearbook series, and who has written the updates in Botto's style.
Winner of the 2015 Music in American Culture Award from the American Musicological Society
When Leonard Bernstein first arrived in New York City, he was an unknown artist working with other brilliant twentysomethings, notably Jerome Robbins, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green. By the end of the 1940s, these artists were world famous. Their collaborations defied artistic boundaries and subtly pushed a progressive political agenda, altering the landscape of musical theater, ballet, and nightclub comedy. In Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War, award-winning author and scholar Carol J. Oja examines the early days of Bernstein's career during World War II, centering around the debut in 1944 of the Broadway musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free. As a composer and conductor, Bernstein experienced a meteoric rise to fame, thanks in no small part to his visionary colleagues. Together, they focused on urban contemporary life and popular culture, featuring as heroes the itinerant sailors who bore the brunt of military service. They were provocative both artistically and politically. In a time of race riots and Japanese internment camps, Bernstein and his collaborators featured African American performers and a Japanese American ballerina, staging a model of racial integration. Rather than accepting traditional distinctions between high and low art, Bernstein's music was wide-open, inspired by everything from opera and jazz to cartoons. Oja shapes a wide-ranging cultural history that captures a tumultuous moment in time. Bernstein Meets Broadway is an indispensable work for fans of Broadway musicals, dance, and American performance history.
For more than 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights - Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and others - who have gone on to establish award-winning careers. The Best American Short Plays 2013-2014 takes a look at our changing times. "Uncertain" seems to be the watchword of today's world, full of surprises, shocks, and even a few delights. Uncertainty brings with it fear and insecurity, as well as nostalgic longing for the good old days, but for some, uncertainty means opportunity and along with it the prospect of change for the better. This volume explores various experiences of uncertainty and includes a series of nine plays gathered by Daniel Gallant, entitled Nine Signs of the Times, as well as short plays by Neil LaBute, John Guare, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Daniel F. Levin, Quincy Long, Halley Feiffer, Caridad Svich, and Clay McLeod Chapman. This collection will be complemented by a range of plays from around the country by playwrights likewise observing and digesting the signs of the times. Together the plays of this volume work as a time capsule, capturing the fears and longings of a world on the verge and in the midst of big changes, hopefully for the better - but quite possibly for the worse.
Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays, Volume One is a must for actors of all ages - beginners as well as seasoned veterans - and belongs in the libraries of all theater teachers looking for new and exciting material for their students. The monologues in this volume are excerpted from the outstanding series Best American Short Plays, an archive of works from many of the best playwrights active today, presenting taut, engaging single-character pieces that range from zany comedy to poignant tales of love and loss. Each monologue includes a short introduction and a reference identifying where to locate the entire play, should anyone choose to pursue production beyond the monologue. Long or short, serious or not, this collection is must-have material for anyone interested in acting. The monologues also succeed as excellent companions for the casual reader. Included in this volume are monologues by Liliana Almendarez, James Armstrong, Billy Aronson, Clay McLeod Chapman, Migdalla Cruz, Laura Shaine Cunningham, Eileen Fischer, Jill Elaine Hughes, Julia Jarcho, Zilvinas Jonusas, Adam Kraar, David Kranes, Neil LaBute, Daniel Frederick Levin, Bruce Levy, Carey Lovelace, Carol K. Mack, Dano Madden, Peter Maloney, Joe Maruzzo, Mark Medoff, Susan Miller, Julie Rae (Pratt) Mollenkamp, Rick Pulos, Ronald Ribman, Murray Schisgal, Pamela Sneed, and co-writers Polly Frost and Ray Sawhill.
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Really? Words can break spirits, destroy confidence. They can also build hope and incite great acts of heroism. Playwrights know this, and so do theater audiences. Otherwise, why go? Words matter and carry clout every bit as dangerous as a hammer or crowbar. This, too, playwrights know. The monologues in this volume are full of such blows, striking at our imaginations and our memories, generating responses such as joyful laughter or chilling surprise. Others squeeze us into worlds we've never experienced, or perhaps experienced at the furthest edges of memory and recollection. Still others may help us alter the way we see certain things, people, or beliefs. Best Monologues from The Best American Short Plays, Volume Three is a collection of monologues drawn from the popular Best American Short Plays series, an archive of works from many of the best playwrights active today. Long or short, serious or not, excerpts or entireties, this collection abounds in speech acts that may trigger physical reactions and almost certainly will transform an attitude or two, drawing out lost memories, creating new ones, and definitely entertaining, engaging, amusing us all along the way.
This second volume of the best monologues from the Best American Short Plays series features a diverse selection drawn from the outstanding works from many of today's best American playwrights. In these monologues, the playwrights capture much of the flavors, feelings, and thoughts of American culture over the past several decades. The result is a collection of taught, engaging monologues offering fascinating perspectives. They are written with an eye toward the stage that makes them excellent source material for actors young and old alike. And they offer a freshness and directness that make them excellent companions for readers attracted to good, often quirky, and always engaging contemporary literature. Included in this volume are monologues by Billy Aronson, Bruce Bonafede, Victor Bumbalo, Clay McLeod Chapman, Yussef El Guindi, Steve Feffer, Catherine Filloux, Daniel Gallant, Madeleine George, Willy Holtzman, Paul Kuritz, Neil LaBute, Dano Madden, Theodore Mann, Donald Margulies, Susan Miller, Lavonne Mueller, Joyce Carol Oates, Carey Pepper, Joe Pintauro, Michael Roderick, Murray Schisgal, Paul Selig, and Nicky Silver.