There’s a Book for That: Musicals!
“Hamilton,” like many musicals before it, has reminded us just how passionate people can be about a musical. It’s not surprising there’s also a cognitive health benefit: A study out of George Mason University, presented at the Society of Neuroscience meeting in November, says that singing show tunes can fight off dementia. That brought to mind books that are either the basis for, or companions to, popular American musicals. May they also bring out the song in you…
THE SOUND OF MUSIC COMPANION by Laurence Maslon, Julie Andrews
The definitive book on the world’s most beloved musical, The Sound of Music Companion charts the incredible and enduring story of Maria von Trapp and her story over the last hundred years – from Maria’s birth in Vienna in 1905 to the 50th anniversary of the film’s release in 2015. The book details every step in the evolution of this masterwork from real-life to page to stage to film to international phenomenon. It profiles every creative artist who has helped to shape the musical version of the von Trapp Family story – from Rodgers and Hammerstein and Mary Martin to Robert Wise, Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
MUSICALS THE DEFINITIVE ILLUSTRATED STORY edited by Elaine Paige (DK Publishing)
Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story showcases the complete history of the musical on stage and screen, from its origins in ancient Greece to early twentieth century dance halls and vaudeville to the golden age of cinema productions to the record-breaking Broadway musicals of today. Packed with historical insights, memorabilia, behind-the-scenes gossip, and artifacts. In all, Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story features more than 140 notable stage and film productions and the stories of the people who created them.
AMERICAN MUSICALS: THE COMPLETE BOOKS AND LYRICS OF SIXTEEN BROADWAY CLASSICS edited by Laurence Maslon
Now in a landmark two-volume collection, The Library of America presents sixteen enduring masterpieces charting the Broadway musical’s narrative tradition from the groundbreaking Show Boat (1927) through the genre’s Golden Age to its response to the turbulent 1960s with the Tony Award–winning shows Cabaret and 1776.
LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo, Lee Fahnestock, Norman MacAfee
Larger than life, epic in scope, dazzling, and touching, Les Misérables remains one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. Victor Hugo’s tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him.
MATILDA: BROADWAY TIE-IN by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
The original Matilda novel featuring the art for the Broadway Musical! Roald Dahl’s original story of a little girl with extraordinary powers has recently been adapted into the wonderful new musical by Dennis Kelly with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. The book includes a short piece from the creators of the musical discussing how they adapted Dahl’s original novel for the stage.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Gaston Leroux, Jann Matlock, Mireille Ribière
A sparkling new translation of the novel that inspired the most popular stage musical of all time. Rumors abound that a ghost stalks the dark passages and cellars of the Paris Opera House. No one has actually seen this Phantom, but Christine Daaé, a beautiful and talented young singer, has heard his voice. He is her “Angel of Music,” coaching her to sing as she never could before. When the handsome Viscount begins to court Christine, the mysterious Phantom-consumed by jealousy-rises up to seek revenge.
GUYS AND DOLLS AND OTHER WRITINGS by Damon Runyon, Pete Hamill, Daniel R. Schwarz
From Dave the Dude to Al Capone: a defining collection from the world of Damon Runyon. Here are newspaper pieces, stories, and, of course, the Broadway tales for which he is chiefly remembered: Guys and Dolls, Blood Pressure, The Bloodhounds of Broadway, and others. Featuring works that are impossible to find elsewhere, and Runyon’s signature eye for detail-particularly the sounds, smells, and tastes of New York-this book brings an American icon to a new generation of readers.
ALEXANDER HAMILTON by Ron Chernow
A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton! Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.
1776: A MUSICAL PLAY by Sherman Edwards, Peter Stone
Winner of five 1969 Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Musical, this oft-produced musical play is an imaginative re-creation of the events from May 8 to July 4, 1776 in Philadelphia, when the second Continental Congress argued about, voted on, and signed the Declaration of Independence.
For more information on these and related titles visit Musicals
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