The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built
By Jack Viertel
Why this book?
What? A scholarly book about Broadway to kick things off? Absolutely. If you think you know everything about musicals, Jack Viertel (a jack-of-all-trades with a career seeped in working in and around the stage) is here to take you a step deeper. From the evolution of what is “popular” and preferred, to the aspects that make a show into a hit, Viertel leads you through the decades of American musicals for a thorough education that is equal parts analysis and a shared love of the genre. The best part is that he loves Broadway as much as you do! He pulls the curtains aside to probe how this amazing world works, in an entertaining and informative way.
One of my favorite books on the genre, and indispensable if you’ve moved beyond show scores and behind-the-scenes anecdotes (although he has those too!).
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