Theatre History
Featured Items
Ramones: An American Band
Ramones
An American Band
Paperback      ISBN: 0312093691

The authorized story of an American band who shaped the history of music for generations. Today's new music-makers are looking back at the bands that broke the ground, and the Ramones are it: the original high priests of punk, the stars of rock 'n roll high school, the royal avatars of rock, raunch, and rebellion. 60 photographs and illustrations.

At This Theatre: 100 Years of Broadway Shows, Stories and Stars
At This Theatre
100 Years of Broadway Shows, Stories and Stars
Hardcover      ISBN: 1557835667

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

Childsplay: A Collection of Scenes and Monologues for Children
Childsplay
A Collection of Scenes and Monologues for Children
Paperback      ISBN: 0879101881

"Childsplay is a very charming and enchanting book - and an important book for children who want to act Not only can they use this wonderful collection as a guide to the sorts of plays and parts that are available to them, they will discover here how plays ca be read just for pleasure. And they will particularly enjoy the selections written by children themselves." -Julie Harris

Bowie: Loving the Alien
Bowie
Loving the Alien
Paperback      ISBN: 0306808544

Based on interviews with family members, colleagues, lovers, and the previously silent William Burroughs, this unsparing yet evenhanded biography guides the reader through the many personas, crises, and musical metamorphoses of David Bowie--also known as Davy Jones, the Laughing Gnome, Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Thin White Duke, a drug-addled grandfather of punk, actor, art aficionado, political activist, one of rock's most resonant icons, and a totem of modern pop culture. Nowhere else is the man and musician so convincingly deconstructed and so compellingly humanized.

Art Performs Life: Merce Cuningham/Meredith Monk/Bill T. Jones
Art Performs Life
Merce Cuningham/Meredith Monk/Bill T. Jones
Paperback      ISBN: 0935640568

Recogninzing the importance of performance in 20th century avant-garde art, this catalogue traces the careers of three artists who have each made a significant contribution to that history. Merce Cunningham, Meredith Monk and Bill T. Jones.

Jacob Adler: A Life on the Stage, a Memoir
Jacob Adler
A Life on the Stage, a Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 155783458x

Jacob Adler, with his performances in the Yiddish King Lear, Uriel Acosta and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, became first a megastar of the exploding Yiddish theatre, and then all of Broadway. His memoirs, originally written and published in Yiddish and now translated (by his granddaughter) into English provides not only a compelling portrait of one of America's greatest actors but a fascinating social history of his time.

Imagining Medea: Rhodessa Jones & Theater for Incarcerated Women
Imagining Medea
Rhodessa Jones & Theater for Incarcerated Women
Paperback      ISBN: 0807849847

This ain't no Dreamgirls, Rhodessa Jones warns participants in the Medea Project, the theater program for incarcerated women that she founded and directs. Her expectations are grounded in reality, tempered, for example, by the fact that women are the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons. Still, Jones believes that by engaging incarcerated women in the process of developing and staging dramatic works based on their own stories, she can push them toward tapping into their own creativity, confronting the problems that landed them in prison, and taking control of their lives.

Rena Fraden chronicles the collaborative process of transforming incarcerated women's stories into productions that incorporate Greek mythology, hip-hop music, dance, and autobiography. She captures a diverse array of voices, including those of Jones and other artists, the sheriff and prison guards, and, most vividly, the women themselves. Through compelling narrative and thoughtful commentary, Fraden investigates the Medea Project's blend of art and activism and considers its limits and possibilities for enacting social change.

Rhodessa Jones is co-artistic director of the San Francisco-based performance company Cultural Odyssey and founder of the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women. An award-winning performer, she has taught at the Yale School of Drama and the New College of California.

The Second City: Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theatre
The Second City
Backstage at the World's Greatest Comedy Theatre
Hardcover      ISBN: 1570715610

"The entire recent tradition of American theatrical satire can be summed up in three words: The Second City."
--New York Times
Many of comedy's biggest stars cut their teeth at The Second City. Learn all of the backstage details--the laughs, loves, struggles, successes, fights and failures that have made Second City such a fertile ground for comedy over the years. And hear Second City's most outrageous and hilarious live performances on two audio CDs narrated by Robert Klein.
Hear:
--John Belushi try to bluff his way through an oral exam to avoid the draft
--Mike Myers as a Canadian border guard who "closes" Canada
--Bonnie Hunt singing "Up, Up And Away" as an annoying "on-hold" entertainer
--John Candy playing Dan Aykroyd's rebellious, hockey-hating son
And read about:
--Bill Murray demonstrating the proper way to deal with a heckler
--Alan Arkin's pre-Second City days as a troubadour with The Tarriers
--Where Gilda Radner first came up with "Emily Litella"
--How Second City alum Martin Short "discovered" Mike Myers
Since 1959, The Second City has been producing cutting-edge satire and wickedly funny improvisation, while keeping countless individuals of questionable character off the streets for a couple of hours each night. It has also trained thousands of young performers in the art of improv-based theater.
The Second City recounts the early years of the comedy troupe's biggest stars, including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Mike Myers, Gilda Radner, Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, David Steinberg, Robert Klein, Chris Farley, Martin Short and John Candy, as well as some of today's hottest directors, like Harold Ramis (Analyze This), Mike Nichols (The Birdcage), Betty Thomas (Private Parts) and Bonnie Hunt (Return to Me).
Author Sheldon Patinkin, one of Second City's founding fathers, tells the story of Second City like no else can--with rare photos, profiles and backstage stories you were never supposed to hear. The Second City is both funnier and more poignant than you could have imagined. The book includes two full-length audio CDs containing hilarious classic scenes like:
--"Football Comes to the University of Chicago" (with Alan Arkin and Severn Darden)
--"Brest Litovsk" (with John Belushi and Joe Flaherty)
--"Motivational Speaker" (with Chris Farley, Tim Meadows and Bob Odenkirk)
Plus new, never-before-heard material that will leave your sides aching.

Rosebud: The Story of Orson Welles
Rosebud
The Story of Orson Welles
Paperback      ISBN: 0679772839

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

"Easily the best book on Orson Welles." --The New Yorker

Orson Welles arrived in Hollywood as a boy genius, became a legend with a single perfect film, and then spent the next forty years floundering. But Welles floundered so variously, ingeniously, and extravagantly that he turned failure into "a sustaining tragedy"--his thing, his song. Now the prodigal genius of the American cinema finally has the biographer he deserves. For, as anyone who has read his novels and criticism knows, David Thomson is one of our most perceptive and splendidly opinionated writers on film.

In Rosebud, Thomson follows the wild arc of Welles's career, from The War of the Worlds broadcast to the triumph of Citizen Kane, the mixed triumph of The Magnificent Ambersons, and the strange and troubling movies that followed. Here, too, is the unfolding of the Welles persona--the grand gestures, the womanizing, the high living, the betrayals. Thomson captures it all with a critical acumen and stylistic dash that make this book not so much a study of Welles's life and work as a glorious companion piece to them.

"Insightful, controversial, and highly readable--Rosebud is biography at its best." --Cleveland Plain Dealer
Being an Actor, Revised and Expanded Edition
Being an Actor, Revised and Expanded Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0312422431

A new edition of the classic book for actors starting their careers, with new material

Few actors have ever been more eloquent, more honest, or more entertaining about their life and their profession than Simon Callow, one of the finest actors of his time and increasingly one of the most admired writers about the theater.

Beginning with the letter to Laurence Olivier that produced his first theatrical job to his triumph as Mozart in the original production of Amadeus, Callow takes us with him on his progress through England's rich and demanding theater: his training at London's famed Drama Centre, his grim and glorious apprenticeship in the provincial theater, his breakthrough at the Joint Stock Company, and then success at Olivier's National Theatre are among the way stations.

Callow provides a guide not only to the actor's profession but also to the intricacies of his art, from unemployment--"the primeval slime from which all actors emerge and to which, inevitably, they return"--to the last night of a long run.