Musicals – The Definitive Illustrated Story
Foreword by Elaine PaigeISBN: 978-0-2412-1456-5
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A lot of effort has been put into compiling this glorious book, giving one of the most comprehensive overviews of musicals (both on stage and on film), that I have seen in a long time.
Starting with Showboat in 1929, this book features information on the composers of the great musicals, with historical information, plot and staging information , behind the scenes gossip, and photographs of the original productions and stills from the films.
The book covers film and stage musicals and there are moments when its information becomes slightly muddy when a musical has been the subject of both stage and film adaptation, but on the whole this is a book that any musical theatre lover would enjoy as part of their collection, or would be treasured by any young person embarking on musical theatre fandom.
Musicals like Me And My Girl, Follow The Fleet, Les Miserables, Jumbo, Swing Time, Lady In The Dark, Carousel, Kiss Me Kate, The Pajama Game, My Fair Lady, Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins, Hair, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line, Dreamgirls, Rent, The Lion King, Wicked and many, many more are featured.
The book is relatively up to date, covering right up to Hamilton (currently Broadway's hottest new musical). although we did notice a few omissions from the last Broadway season.
Creatives like Jerome Robbins, Harold Prince, and Bob Fosse and composers including Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondheim are also covered in the large pages of this beautifully illustrated book.
I've spent hours over the past week trawling through this book and will be purchasing extra copies to give as gifts myself. I hope that update editions will be made available every few years as new musicals open around the world.