Synopses & Reviews
Finally, a book as glorious as its subject: this lush showcase for everyone who loves musicals covers the 101 most influential, popular, and enduring Broadway shows--all of which have toured the country and been performed in theatres large and small everywhere. Each listing includes expert commentary that sets the play in historical and cultural context, plus features on the creators and performers, plot synopses, cast and song lists, production details, backstage anecdotes, and more. Four or five beautifully reproduced photographs from each show--the majority never before published--accompany the text and make the shows leap off the page. Appendices and special features include cast albums, poster artists, revivals, guilty pleasures, Off-Broadway musicals, notable flops, and much more.
"This massive, lavishly printed tome is almost a coffee-table unto itself. A must-have for the Broadway fanatic."
—Time Out New York
"Your Broadway book is a marvel. Handsome, incisive, affectionate—and so useful."
—Harold Prince, producer and director
"If you want to be on the inside—I mean the real meat and gravy of how musical gets 'on'—this is for you. I don't recall Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik being in the room when we were writing, auditioning, and even throwing up on opening nights, but when I read this, I felt they must have been there. It's an honor to be a part of it."
—Charles Strouse, composer of Annie and Bye Bye Birdie
andquot;This massive, lavishly printed tome is almost a coffee-table unto itself. A must-have for the Broadway fanatic.andquot;
andmdash;Time Out New York
This lush and relatively inexpensive coffeetable book is one that fans of musicals will actually read and talk about...These are not the same old glossies we've seen a thousand times, but fresh and rare photographs, many from private collections, that capture the essence of the show's greatness. Then there's the presentation: lively, opinionated, sometimes deliciously gossipy writing...This book is a must for fans of musical theater."
—Hartford Courant Hartford Courant
"I was happy to leaf through this very weighty tome (with some of the finest color photos I've ever seen in such an archival volume on nearly every page) and match my own favorites against those of the authors....by the time you make it through the catalogue...you will have hummed at least a hundred tunes and been reminded of what a dazzling achievement this theatrical form has been. And for holiday shoppers in search of the perfect gift for musical mavens, here's the grail."
—Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times Chicago Sun-Times
"I nearly missed deadline for this column, thanks to Broadway Musicals...It's one of those great browser books that can eat up an hour before you realize it. For any theater fan or musical buff it is a perfect abridged education."
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune Minneapolis Star-Tribune
"It takes Broadway veterans like Bloom and Vlastnik to create a book that captures the color and excitement of the musical theater so perfectly. The eye-popping photos and chatty, conversational style of writing make this an essential book for both the novice and veteran appreciators of our greatest American art form."
—Michael Feinstein, musician, performer, and musical theatre historian
The 101 most influential, popular, and enduring Broadway productions are examined, with features on the creators and performers, plots, cast and song lists, and more. Full color.
About the Author
Ken Bloom is the author of American Song, Hollywood Song, and Tin Pan Alley. His Broadway: An Encyclopedic Guide to the History, People and Places of Times Squarewas named one of the top reference books of the year by the New York Public Library and was recently reissued in a new edition. Most recently, he published an illustrated book celebrating the career of Jerry Herman and a two-volume history of Twentieth Century-Fox music. Bloom is also a playwright, a theatre director, a radio host, an arts consultant, and the president of Harbinger Records. He lives in New York City.Frank Vlastnik is an actor who appeared in the original cast of the Broadway musicals Big, Sweet Smell of Success, and A Year with Frog and Toad. He did the photo editing and research for Ken Bloom's Jerry Hermanand Richard Norton's A Chronology of American Musical Theatre. He lives in New York City.