Broadway is back! From September, Broadway theatres can reopen at full capacity, and dozens of shows have confirmed they will return to the Great White Way. After over a year away, the lights, the rhythms, the drama, and the romance will finally be back to thrill audiences.
Check out This is Broadway for information on the returning plays and musicals.
Another exciting piece of news is that in Summer 2022, the Museum of Broadway, the first permanent museum dedicated to Broadway will open in the heart of Times Square!
Ahead of Broadway’s triumphant return this fall, and to get you even more excited about the comeback of the live theater experience, here’s a list of Broadway or theater themed books/ebooks (nonfiction and fiction) and other resources available with your Livingston Library card.
Perhaps they can also tide you over until you are able to get tickets to a show!
A cookbook of over fifty recipes inspired by the most popular Broadway musicals of the last ninety years. Warm up your appetite with some Eggrolls for Mr. Goldstone (Gypsy) served with a side of Too Darn Hot Sauce (Kiss Me, Kate). Looking for some liquid courage? Whip yourself up Another Vodka Stinger (Company) or make good with The Wizard and Ice (Wicked). Need something with a bit more substance? Schnitzel With Noodles (The Sound of Music) is one of our favorite things, or you can spice it up with Mama’s Well-Peppered Ragu (Chicago).
An eye-opening history of Manhattan told through its most celebrated street. Today, Broadway almost feels inevitable, but over the past four hundred years there have been thousands who have tried to draw and erase its path. Following their footsteps, we learn why one side of the street was once considered more fashionable than the other; witness the construction of Trinity Church, the Flatiron Building, and the Ansonia Hotel; the burning of P. T. Barnum’s American Museum; and discover that Columbia University was built on the site of an insane asylum. Along the way we meet Alexander Hamilton, Emma Goldman, Edgar Allan Poe, John James Audubon, “Bill the Butcher” Poole, and the assorted real-estate speculators, impresarios, and politicians who helped turn Broadway into New York’s commercial and cultural spine.
Broadway Baby by Alan Shapiro
Miriam wants nothing more than to become famous on Broadway. Her love for the stage begins during childhood, when she lived with her grandparents in pre-WWII Boston, but it lasts all her life. When she becomes distracted by marriage and then children, she projects dreams of stardom onto one of her sons instead. The struggle to achieve her goal through him and the damage it does to herself and the rest of her family are painful to witness.
This documentary examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. The film showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim. Narrated by Tony and Academy Award winner Joel Grey, it mingles cultural history with perspectives on the origins and meanings of some of Broadway’s most beloved songs, stories, and shows.
Manhattan has a pervasive quality of glamour–a heightened sense of personality generated by a place whose cinematic, literary, and commercial celebrity lends an aura of the fantastic to even its most commonplace locales. This work chronicles an alternate history of this magical isle. It offers a tour along Broadway, focusing on times and places that illuminate a forgotten and sometimes hidden history of New York through site-specific stories of wizards, illuminati, fortune tellers, magicians, and more.
This is the story of New York in the roaring twenties and the first Broadway show with an all-Black cast and creative team to achieve success-and its impact on our popular culture. Amidst a culture actively whitewashing, controlling, or trying to prevent their stories from being told, these artists changed the course of American entertainment. This groundbreaking group of performers and the creators (including composer Eubie Blake and lyricist Noble Sissle) sowed the seeds of the Harlem jazz scene and paved the way for people of color on stage and screen, ultimately leading to productions such as West Side Story, Black Panther, and of course, Hamilton.
Bob Fosse is a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographers and directors. Gwen Verdon is the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. Fosse/Verdon tells the story of these two brilliant, complicated individuals and the love they shared, the art they created, and the price they paid in the pursuit of greatness.
Great American Music Broadway Musicals by Bill Messenger- Audiobook
These 16 delightful lectures immerse you in the world of Broadway, exploring the intricacies of musical composition and song construction-and how they were used to create specific effects – as well as the social and historical backdrop against which musical theater must be considered. With examples at the piano, Professor Messenger shows you the soundtrack of America – and for millions of us, the soundtrack of our lives.
Hamilton: One Shot To Broadway (on Kanopy)
The remarkable story of how a group of inspired mavericks made an unlikely marriage of hip-hop and history to make the biggest musical show in America. Featuring interviews with Lin Manuel Miranda, as well as the cast and crew of Hamilton.
Hamilton : The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist-star takes readers behind the scenes of his groundbreaking hit musical, which is filled with romance, drama, violence, patriotism and adventure and details the many dramatic episodes in Alexander Hamilton’s life.
This book gives readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights. The book offers untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs—complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world.
Joy Ride: Show People and Their Shows by John Lahr
Since 1992 John Lahr has written for The New Yorker, where for twenty-one years he was the senior drama critic, the longest stint in that post in the magazine’s history. Joy Ride is a collection of his profiles and reviews that throws open the stage door, taking us behind the scenes both on and off Broadway to introduce such creators of contemporary drama as August Wilson, Arthur Miller, Stephen Sondheim, Tony Kushner, Wallace Shawn, and Mike Nichols. The result is a delightful, literate, and essential crash course in contemporary theater.
The complete history of the musical is covered, from its earliest origins in dance halls and vaudeville, to the record-breaking West End musicals and spectacular Broadway shows of today. Discover the history, plots and stars of musical theatre and movie musicals, go backstage to find out behind-the-scenes gossip and delve into profiles of successful creators such as Disney and Andrew Lloyd Webber in this illustrated celebration.
Broadway’s most respected (and feared) commentator pulls back the curtain on its stars, its producers, and its mega-hits to reveal all the shocking drama, intrigue, and power plays that happened off stage. This is a provocative, no-holds-barred narrative account of the people and the money and the power that re-invented an iconic quarter of New York City, turning its gritty back alleys and sex-shops into the glitzy, dazzling Great White Way–and bringing a crippled New York from the brink of bankruptcy to its glittering glory.
Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next—by design or by accident, by emulation or by rebellion—from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and onward.
The New York Post theater columnist draws on more than 150 insider interviews to celebrate the productions, artists and movements that shaped Broadway in the years spanning Sunset Boulevard through The Lion King.
At The Lillian Booth Actors Home just outside NYC, a group of long-retired Broadway entertainers dive into a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and find that nothing is what it seems to be. As they deal with the shifting mental and physical challenges of old age, they realize that creativity is a magical force of renewal.
Filichia chronicles the history of the American musical by looking at those shows that did not win the Tony Award for Best Musical. he looks at many of the 153 previous Best Musical Nominees that didn’t win the big prize. What were the biggest omissions? “Gypsy” had the distinct displeasure of not being either the first or second choice of the committee. In 1959 when Ethel Merman and a variety of strippers took the stage, the Tony for Best Musical was a tie between “The Sound of Music” and “Fiorello”. In 1971, Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” and its ghostly showgirls lost to a “groovy” re-tuning of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” that hasn’t passed the test of time. And, in 1957, “West Side Story”, its Jets and Sharks, were bested by the fine people of River City Iowa singing their Americana hearts out in “The Music Man.”
The fourth in this absorbing series set in Gilded Age New York, lady’s maid Jane Prescott is thrust into the world of show business, where a killer is stalking Broadway. Jane and Louise Tyler are pulled into the sparkling and scandalous world of Broadway, as a star struck Louise invests in Leo’s show, and Jane chaperones her at rehearsals. But behind the glittering facade of the theater, there are rivalries, secret romances, and some very dodgy business practices.
Optimistically moving her family from suburban Dallas to Manhattan, Allison Brinkley finds New York unexpectedly bewildering, until an encounter with a famous pop star who has been cast in a Broadway musical provides her with a surprising opportunity.
Running away to New York City for an open-call Broadway audition, an aspiring musical actress lands a major role in a controversial new production that tests the cultural boundaries of the late 1950s.
Here are some Broadway music selections from the Library’s Spotify account to put you further in the spirit.
–Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian