Summer is here at last and there is no better time to have fun in the sun with a new read! You’re in luck, because this year, Broadway’s best have put pen to paper to turn out theatre page-turners of every kind. From theatre biographies to theatre fiction; theatre books for kids to theatre history; check out our collection of 20 new Broadway books for every theatre lover’s summer reading list.
BroadwayWorld’s Summer Reading Guide is brought to you by Audible Theater. Audible Theater lets you enjoy brilliant theater your way: On stage with live performances at NYC’s Minetta Lane Theatre, or anytime with our growing collection of original plays and performances created just to be heard. That means you’ll always have the best seat in the house, no matter where you are.
HEART, a truly poetic and life-affirming new play, explores the maxim that “Every new story begins as another one ends.” Written and performed by London-based actor and poet Jade Anouka (His Dark Materials), HEART introduces us to a woman, shaken by a broken relationship, who finds herself discovering love in the last place-and with the last person-she ever expected. With her sexuality awakened to a new truth, she battles her own and society’s expectations of what love looks like. Directed by Ola Ince, this world premiere production-dedicated to the misfits and “others”-takes the listeners on a powerful and relatable journey, one that challenges the ‘norms’ society presents us with and celebrates the freedom found in following your heart.
Joseph is having a comically rough year. His job sucks, his relationship ended, he’s plagued by prank phone calls, and he nearly lost his father to the virus. When his best friend asks him to donate his sperm so that she can start a family, Joseph just can’t understand why anyone would bring a child into this calamitous world. The only bright spot is an intriguing new online relationship with an attractive internet “daddy” that has him rethinking his isolation until a series of revelations have him facing even bigger decisions about his future.
You Are Here: An Evening with Solea Pfeiffer
The fiercely talented and versatile stage and screen performer Solea Pfeiffer (Hamilton, Almost Famous, The Light in the Piazza, and Evita) brings her powerhouse vocals and gift of storytelling to create an enchanting musical experience. Armed with her immense versatility as vocalist, the Zimbabwe-born performer weaves together pieces from her most unforgettable roles, praise for the artists who have influenced her career, and personal anecdotes that showcase her wit, warmth, and endless charm.
A visit to the urologist has never been more hilarious – or revealing – than in Men’s Health, a new comedy written by Daniel Goldfarb and directed by Scott Ellis. Adam (Tony® winner Santino Fontana) is a TV writer in search of a diagnosis for a very personal problem. He ends up half naked and fully freaked out in the exam room of Dr. Szabo (Tony and Emmy® winner Tony Shalhoub), a physician with a unique bedside manner offering some truly unorthodox treatment options. After several months of appointments, both patient and doctor begin to open up, sharing some of the most private parts of their lives. But when Adam decides to write about their relationship, Dr. Szabo discovers how frightening and freeing it feels to be truly exposed.
A bonding adventure goes horribly wrong in this gripping story of trust, survival, and motherly instincts. Karla and her stepdaughter Olivia are alone on a remote family camping trip when news of a mysterious outbreak in nearby San Francisco begins to trickle in. With little information to go on, the two women must identify the biggest threat to their safety: the supposedly deadly virus, the stranger who stumbles into their campsite, or each other.
Ali and the Sea Stars
by Ali Stroker
Ali loves to dance, sing, and act. But she had never thought of putting on her own show until her neighbor asks, “Why wait?” Immediately energized, Ali gets to work. There’s so much to do before showtime-choosing the right musical, auditions, rehearsal, costume and set design-but Ali can do anything with her family and friends. When a storm threatens to undo all their hard work, Ali must use her imagination and adapt so the show can go on! Includes an inspiring letter from Ali to readers on how she developed confidence while on-stage and how theater encourages teamwork and creativity.
by Alex Timbers
Louisa is a tiny parakeet with a HUGE dream: to be a Broadway star. But no matter what she does, everyone keeps telling her she’s too small to make it big! When a chance at her big break comes, Louisa learns that no matter how small you are, with a little talent and a lot of hard work, you can do anything – even be on Broadway! With colorful, charming illustrations by artist Alisa Coburn, this heartfelt picture book from renowned Broadway director Alex Timbers is about persistence, believing in yourself, and, of course, the magic of Broadway.
Grease, Tell Me More, Tell Me More: Stories from the Broadway Phenomenon That Started It All
Grease: Tell Me More, Tell Me More is a collection of memories and stories from over one hundred actors and musicians, including the creative team and crew who were part of the original Broadway production and in the many touring companies it spawned. Here are stories-some touching, some hilariously funny-from names you may recognize: Barry Bostwick, John Travolta, Adrienne Barbeau, Treat Williams, Marilu Henner, Peter Gallagher, and others you may not: Danny Jacobson, creator of Mad About You; Tony-winning Broadway directors Walter Bobbie and Jerry Zaks; bestselling authors Laurie Graff and John Lansing; television stars Ilene Kristen, Ilene Graff, and Lisa Raggio, and many, many more.
So You Want to Sing Musical Theatre: A Guide for Performers
by Amanda Flynn
From television shows like Glee and Smash to the phenomenon of the Broadway show Hamilton, musical theatre has never been more popular. In So You Want to Sing Musical Theatre, Updated and Expanded Edition, Broadway vocal coach Amanda Flynn provides an in-depth look at the skills needed to successfully sing and teach this repertoire. Fully updated to meet the current needs of the profession, this new edition covers a vast array of topics with even deeper discussion: musical theatre history; repertoire; genres used in productions; basic singing voice science; vocal health; audio equipment and microphones; vocal production of musical theatre sounds; acting, dancing, and other movement; working with kids; and auditioning at all levels. The book also includes profiles of Broadway singers that explores their training, methods of vocal upkeep, and advice for singers and teachers.
Not Starring Zadie Louise
by Joy McCullough
Release Date: June 21, 2022
Zadie loves Tae Kwon Do, comic books, and outer space. She also loves visiting the community theater that her mom runs, especially the lighting grid over the stage and the stage manager’s booth, which is filled with levers and buttons like a spaceship control panel. So when the family’s finances suffer a blow and Zadie has to give up her usual activities to spend the summer at the theater, she doesn’t mind too much. After all, she’s always wanted to tech a show. She knows she’d be great at it, but her mom and the new stage manager are totally opposed to the idea of having a kid do tech. Instead, Zadie’s stuck handing out snacks and folding flyers. But the future of the theater rides on this show, and Zadie is determined to help. She’s going to make Spinderella the hit of the season-unless she accidentally turns it into a disaster.
The Long Revolution: Writings from the Frontlines of a New American Theatre
by Zelda Fichandler
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Zelda Fichandler is one of the founding visionaries of the theatre movement in America. From the creation of Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage in 1950 with her husband Thomas, through her later stewardship of the acting training programs at both at NYU and Julliard, Zelda spent over sixty years speaking, writing and observing the rise and impact of the art of theatre in the U.S. She has relentlessly questioned the very field that she, as much as anyone, created. Her essays and speeches capture both the play of her own dazzling mind, and the aspirations and contradictions of the theater she pioneered.
The Jukebox Musical: An Interpretive History
by Kevin Byrne, Emily Fuchs
Release Date: June 30, 2022
This is a comprehensive guide to the unique genre of the jukebox musical, delving into its history to explain why these musicals have quickly become beloved for multiple generations of theatergoers and practitioners. Providing a concise exploration of the three main categories of the jukebox musical–biographical, genre-specific, and artist catalog–this text is perfect for those wishing to learn more about this relatively recent and unique genre of theater. It identifies the dramaturgical needs that arise in these productions and explains how certain works become critical darlings or fan favorites. How much information needs to be conveyed through song and how much can be left up to interpretation by the audience? What kinds of changes occur when a repertoire of songs is reimagined for the stage? In addition to these insightful explorations, it also reveals how creative teams tackle the unique challenge of weaving together plot and song in order to convey meaning, emotion, excitement, and beauty in these increasingly popular forms of theater.
The Complete Book of 1900s Broadway Musicals
by Dan Dietz
Release Date: July 22, 2022
Broadway musicals of the 1900s saw the emergence of George M. Cohan and his quintessentially American musical comedies which featured contemporary American stories, ragtime-flavored songs, and a tongue-in-cheek approach to musical comedy conventions. But when the Austrian import The Merry Widow opened in 1907, waltz-driven operettas became all the rage.
Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers
Shy is the story of how it all happened: how Mary grew from an angry child, constrained by privilege and a parent’s overwhelming gift, to become not just a theater figure in her own right but also a renowned author of books for young readers (including the classic Freaky Friday) and, in a final grand turn, a doyenne of philanthropy and the chairman of the Juilliard School. But in telling these stories―with copious annotations, contradictions, and interruptions from Jesse Green, the chief theater critic of The New York Times―Shy also tells another, about a woman liberating herself from disapproving parents and pervasive sexism to find art and romance on her own terms. Whether writing for Judy Holliday or Rin Tin Tin, dating Hal Prince or falling for Stephen Sondheim over a game of chess at thirteen, Rodgers grabbed every chance possible―and then some.
National Identity and the British Musical: From Blood Brothers to Cinderella
by Grace Barnes
Release Date: August 11, 2022
National Identity and the British Musical: From Blood Brothers to Cinderella examines the myths associated with national identity which are reproduced by the British musical and asks why the genre continues to uphold, instead of challenging, outdated ideals. All too often, UK musicals reinforce national identity clichés and caricatures, conflate ‘England’ with ‘Britain’ and depict a mono-cultural nation viewed through a nostalgic lens.
Transforming Space Over Time: Set Design and Visual Storytelling with Broadway’s Legendary Directors
by Beowulf Boritt
Release Date: August 15, 2022
Transforming Space over Time tells the stories of six diverse productions: five on Broadway and one Off Broadway. Tony Award-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt begins with the moment he was offered each job and takes readers through the conceptual development of a set, the challenges of its physical creation, and the intense process of readying it for the stage. Theater is at heart a collaborative art form, and Boritt shares revealing details of his work with the many professionals-directors, designers, technicians, producers, stage managers, and actors-who contribute their talent and ideas to each show. Included here are extensive conversations with theater legends James Lapine, Kenny Leon, Hal Prince, Susan Stroman, Jerry Zaks, and Stephen Sondheim, explaining how their different approaches to theater help to shape the vision for a set and best practices for creative collaboration. Boritt also offers valuable insights into the sometimes frustrating but unavoidable realities of the “biz” part of showbiz-budgets, promotion, reviews, and awards.
Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies
by Ted Chapin
Release Date: August 15, 2022
Have you ever been curious about what it takes to get an original Broadway musical to opening night? Ted Chapin, college student at the time, had a front row seat at the creation of Stephen Sondheim‘s Follies, now considered one of the most important musicals of modern time. He kept a detailed journal of his experience as the sole production assistant, which he used as the basis for Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies, originally published in 2003. He was there in the drama-filled rehearsal room, typing the endless rewrites, ferrying new songs around town, pampering the film and television stars in the cast, travelling with the show to its Boston tryout and back to New York for the Broadway opening night. With an enthusiast’s focus on detail and a journalist’s skill, Chapin takes the reader on the roller-coaster ride of creating a new and original Broadway musical. Musical theater giants, still rising in their careers, were working at top form on what became a Tony Award-winning classic: Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, and Michael Bennett. Many classic Sondheim songs like “I’m Still Here,” “Losing My Mind,” and “Broadway Baby” were part of the score, some written in a hotel room in Boston.
Opera: The Definitive Illustrated Story
by Alan Riding and Leslie Dunton-Downer
Release Date: August 16, 2022
Immerse yourself in more than 400 years of the world’s most celebrated operas and discover the fascinating stories behind them. Explore the lives of singers such as Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, and Jonas Kaufmann. Meet composers like Mozart, Wagner, and Britten, and the librettists with whom they collaborated to create the magical blend of words and music that make up opera. From its origins in the 17th-century courts of Italy to live screenings in public spaces today, Opera: The Definitive Illustrated Story follows the history of opera from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in 1607, to Cosi fan Tutte, La Bohème, and modern operas such as Brokeback Mountain. It explains musical terminology, traces historical developments, and sets everything in a cultural context.
The Book of Broadway Musical Debates, Disputes, and Disagreements
by Peter Filicia
Release Date: September 1, 2022
The Book of Broadway Musical Debates, Disputes and Disagreements is purposely meant to start arguments and to settle them. Broadway musical fans won’t always agree with the conclusions musical theater judge Peter Filichia reaches, but the best part of any drama is the conflict. Among lovers of musical theater, opinions are never in short supply, and Filichia addresses the most dividing questions and opinions in one book. What will you say when he asks, “What is the greatest opening number of a Broadway musical?” Will your answer be “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King, “Heaven on Their Minds” from Jesus Christ Superstar, or “Beautiful Girls” from Follies?
My Own Directions: A Black Man’s Journey in the American Theatre
by Sheldon Epps
Release Date: September 9, 2022
A life in the theatre is often well described as a rollercoaster ride, with all the excitement and occasional anguish that come with the highs and lows. The author’s journey in the American Theatre has been amplified even further by his experience a Black man who has frequently been “one of the few”, “the first” or even “the only.” His satisfying and rewarding directing career has been full of rewards and opportunities as well as huge challenges and frustrations, along with the anger that has come from being “chased by race” for so many years. Much of the author’s experience comes from two-decades of tenure as Artistic Director of Pasadena Playhouse, one of the oldest and well-known theatres in America, and for a time early in his career, one of the whitest. This is the unique story of how the author came into leadership at Pasadena Playhouse after a successful career directing on Broadway, in London and at theatres all over the world.