A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee
Paperback ISBN: 081297851x
NATIONAL BESTSELLER America was flying high in the Roaring Twenties. Then, almost overnight, the Great Depression brought it crashing down. When the dust settled, people were primed for a star who could distract them from reality. Enter Gypsy Rose Lee, a strutting, bawdy, erudite stripper who possessed a gift for delivering exactly what America needed. With her superb narrative skills and eye for detail, Karen Abbott brings to life an era of ambition, glamour, struggle, and survival. Using exclusive interviews and never-before-published material, she vividly delves into Gypsy’s world, including her intense triangle relationship with her sister, actress June Havoc, and their formidable mother, Rose, a petite but ferocious woman who literally killed to get her daughters on the stage. Weaving in the compelling saga of the Minskys—four scrappy brothers from New York City who would pave the way for Gypsy Rose Lee’s brand of burlesque and transform the entertainment landscape—Karen Abbott creates a rich account of a legend whose sensational tale of tragedy and triumph embodies the American Dream.
The Anatomy of Cruelty
Antonin Artaud: Life and Works
Paperback ISBN: 0985762527
The work of Antonin Artaud (1896-1948) is the most seminal, shattered and inspirational of the twentieth century, extending across literature, film, performance, manifesto, sound art, drawing, and a sequence of exploratory journeys. For the twentieth-first century, too, it is the most extreme, challenging and vital body of work - able to anatomise and negate all compromised cultures, and engender new theories, images and texts of the body, revolution, madness and the creative act.Stephen Barber's intensively researched and highly acclaimed work on Artaud, originally published in three books spanning almost twenty years, has revealed Artaud's work to English-language readers in all of its intricacy and extraordinary capacity for transmutation. As a definitive research archive on Artaud's work, "The Anatomy Of Cruelty" collects all of this material, as well as a previously unpublished postscript on the impact of the first translations of Artaud into English, during the 1960s: forming a unique critical biography based on primary sources and interviews with Artaud's surviving collaborators. It also features sections looking in depth at his unparalelled and interconnected work in theatre, film, visual art and sound recordings (notably his astonishing screams); and a study of his very last work - over four hundred notebooks, pierced with knives and burns, in which he embedded his final, most incendiary words. Plus: 6 full-page photographs and illustrations, a complete filmography, and selected bibliography. For all readers engaged with Artaud's work, this compendium is both comprehensive and indispensable. Includes material first published in "Blows & Bombs?, "Screaming Body? and "Terminal Curses?.
Paperback ISBN: 0674057082
This is the long-awaited biography of one of the twentieth century’s greatest playwrights, Arthur Miller, whose postwar decade of work earned him international critical and popular acclaim. Christopher Bigsby’s gripping, meticulously researched biography examines his refusal to name names before the notorious House on Un-American Activities Committee, offers new insights into Miller’s marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and sheds new light on how their relationship informed Miller’s subsequent great plays.
Chaos, According to Plan
Paperback ISBN: 0521282454
This is the first full-length study in any language of Bertolt Brecht's day-to-day work as a theatre director. Professor Fuegi has researched his subject extensively over many years, and this book is the result of interviews with Brecht's closest associates (including Helene Weigel, Angelika Hurwicz, Elisabeth Hauptmann and Hans Bunge), inspection of the unpublished typescripts recording several years of Brecht rehearsals at the Berlin Ensemble, and consultation of archival materials in Moscow, Berlin and Harvard University. Although Brecht is acknowledged worldwide as having changed our whole conception of playwriting, acting and directing, virtually nothing has been previously published which tells how he worked and reacted with actors, and how his productions were actually put together in rehearsal. John Fuegi now tells the story, evoking the excitement and controversy which surrounded Brecht's work on the stage. He examines the way Brecht applied his manic but brilliant character, in both personal and professional life (though these cannot easily be separated), in order to create the tension and confusion, contradiction and chaos, from which his best productions emerged. He shows how the plays must be seen in the light of their evolution on the stage through innumerable arduous rehearsals, themselves conditioned by the intense magnetism, spontaneity and unpredictability of Brecht's personality. Most importantly, the book charts the evolution of Brecht's own dramatic theory from his early rejection of Stanislavskian realism and his demands for emotional coolness from the spectator to his later acceptance of the power of theatre to involve, even to move, the audience. The book goes behind the scenes to look at the playwright's negotiation of contracts for his productions, commercial agreements which were often highly beneficial to himself but markedly less so to his collaborators such as Kurt Weill, Ruth Berlau and Elisabeth Hauptmann, and it talks frankly of Brecht's use of the 'casting couch', bestowing and withholding favours with the same volatility that characterized his remarkable love-life. The story is accompanied by illustrations, many of which have not been published before. It provides a much-needed antidote to some of the more sterile accounts of Brechtian theory, concentrating very much on the 'practice' but remaining at the same time vividly aware of the social and political context in which and about which Brecht was writing. The book will be of interest to scholars and students of theatre and of dramatic and comparative literature, and it is presented in a lively style that should also appeal to the general reader.
The Blue Touch Paper
Hardcover ISBN: 0393249182
An intimate portrait of one of Britain's best-known screenwriters and dramatists presents a vibrant and affecting account of becoming a writer amid the enormous flux of postwar England, taking readers through his university days at Cambridge all the way up to his breakthrough success as a playwright. Illustrations.
Bronx to Broadway
A Life in Show Business
Hardcover ISBN: 1557835608
As a boy growing up in the East Bronx, Harold Thau dreamed the American Dream. In Bronx to Broadway, he pays homage to that experience which carried him from a sea of tenements to the exciting Great White Way and a successful career as a theatre producer. Rich in colorful inside stories of show business personalities, Harold Thau provides a portrait of the entertainment industry seldom evoked and largely unseen, told with insight, humor, and a sense of humanity about the business of show business.
By Women Possessed
A Life of Eugene O'neill
Hardcover ISBN: 0399159118
Sheds new light on the troubled life of the dramatist, following him though his successes, his failures, the twelve-year period during which nothing he wrote was produced, and his contentious relationship with his third wife.
Reminiscence and Diversions
Paperback ISBN: 0679747206
In these mordant, elegant, and often disquieting essays, the internationally acclaimed dramatist creates a sort of autobiography by strobe light, one that is both mysterious and starkly revealing. The pieces in The Cabin are about places and things: the suburbs of Chicago, where as a boy David Mamet helplessly watched his stepfather terrorize his sister; New York City, where as a young man he had to eat his way through a mountain of fried matzoh to earn a night of sexual bliss. They are about guns, campaign buttons, and a cabin in the Vermont woods that stinks of wood smoke and kerosene -- and about their associations of pleasure, menace, and regret. The resulting volume may be compared to the plays that have made Mamet famous: it is finely crafted and deftly timed, and its precise language carries an enormous weight of feeling.