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Library Alert

Posted by Team APATA | Jan 5, 2021

There’s plenty of books – new and old – that have either just hit the shelves or you may have missed that you should have in your library ranging from in-depth looks across industry, through to spotlights on female leaders and artist biography options. There is even a novel that flips Romeo & Juliet into a hip-hopera school drama. Start adding to your library and enjoy – there is no better time to be inspired, curl up with a good book and get ready to tackle 2021.

Conversations with Lorraine Hansberry Edited by Mollie Godfrey

This collection of interviews with the playwright, including many from radio and television that have never before appeared in print, offers a look at Hansberry’s aesthetic and political thought. The twenty-one interviews collected range from just before the Broadway premiere of A Raisin in the Sun to less than six months before her passing. Available now from University Press of Mississippi.

Onstage with Martha Graham By Stuart Hodes

This first-hand account of being a dancer under Martha Graham examines how Hodes, a WWII bomber pilot, became one of the choreographer’s lead partners in works like Appalachian Spring and Every Soul Is a Circus. The memoir gives classic arts lovers a look at the world of dance in the ‘40s and ‘50s as Hodes travels across America, Europe, and Asia with the company. Not just his own story, the author offers readers a direct line to Graham and how she operated as a choreographer, mentor, and friend. Available now from University Press of Florida.

Drama Menu at a Distance: 80 Socially Distanced or Online Theatre Games By Glyn Trefor-Jones

This new collection—created specifically to help anyone teaching drama during the COVID-19 pandemic—offers dozens of games and exercises, all of which are safe and secure to play as part of a socially distanced or virtual curriculum. It offers new exercises to energize and inspire alongside some Drama Menu favourites, redesigned to be played in 2020. Available Now from Nick Hern Books.

Roman and Jewel By Dana L. Davis

This is the story of a girl who thinks she has what it takes…and the world thinks so, too. Jerzie Jhames will do anything to land the lead role in Broadway’s hottest new show, Roman and Jewel, a Romeo and Juliet–inspired hip-hopera featuring a diverse cast and modern twists on the play. But her hopes are crushed when she learns mega-star Cinny won the lead…and Jerzie is her understudy. Available now from Inkyard Press.

Dan Mason: From Vaudeville to Broadway to the Silent Screen By Joseph P. Eckhardt

This first-ever biography of the American comedian explores the roots of his craft and the challenges he faced navigating the rapidly changing world of popular entertainment in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Available January 21 from McFarland.

Mike Nichols: A Life By Mark Harris

The EGOT-winning director (with eight directing Tony’s) of Broadway’s The Odd CoupleSpamalot, and more had a storied career. But what of his early life? In this new biography, Harris explores Nichols’ journey to America in the early ‘30s and the hardships he faced growing up—and how being an outsider offered him a collection of tools that made him one of the industry’s most revered auteurs. Available February 2 from Penguin Press.

Radiant By Liz Heinecke

The true story of Marie Curie and Loie Fuller (considered by many to be a pioneer of modern dance), two revolutionary women drawn together at the dawn of a new era by a singular discovery, and the lifelong friendship that grew out of their shared passion for enlightenment. Available February 16 from Grand Central Publishing.

The Tale of the Mandarin Duck By Bette Midler with an afterword by Michiko Kakutani

Inspired by the real-life rainbow-colored Mandarin Duck who appeared in New York’s Central Park in 2018, this modern fable by the Tony winner celebrates the connections people make with each other and the world around them. Available February 16 from Penguin Random House.

Tom Stoppard: A Life By Hermoine Lee

The four-time Tony-winning playwright gets his own spotlight in a new biography. Stoppard’s most recent work is the Olivier-winning Leopoldstadt, which began its run in London last February. Among his 13 plays that have bowed on Broadway—in a total of 18 productions—are his debut work Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadTravestiesThe Real Thing, and the three-part The Coast of UtopiaAvailable February 23 from Knopf.

AMORALMAN: A True Story and Other Lies Hardcover By Derek DelGaudio

Using his youthful notebook entries as a road map, DelGaudio embarks on a journey retracing the path that led him to a world populated by charlatans, card cheats, and con artists. As stories are peeled away and artifices revealed, the creator of In & Of Itself questions his own sense of morality and discovers that even a master of deception can find himself trapped inside an illusion. Available March 2 from Deckle Edge.

Pointe Work: 10 Reasons Why and When By Dawn C. Crouch

Getting your first pair of pointe shoes is an important rite of passage, but there’s so much to consider. Pointe Work: 10 Reasons Why and When is a comprehensive guidebook for students, parents and teachers about this very special time in a dancer’s training. Author Dawn C. Crouch addresses the proper signs of pointe readiness and what students should expect their first year on pointe, as well as the hard work, time commitment and training required to successfully dance in these specialised shoes. She also includes a section for adult beginners. Available now from Amazon.

Bunheads By Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland, American Ballet Theatre’s first Black female principal, has spent much of her career finding ways to give back to the younger generations, and already has two books under her belt. In September, Copeland published Bunheadsthe first in a series of children’s books inspired by her early experiences in ballet. The book, beautifully illustrated by Setor FIadzigbey, follows a young Misty as she starts ballet lessons and discovers her love of dance. Even though she’s new to ballet and not sure that she can pull off the role, she auditions for the part of Swanilda in her school’s production of Coppélia. But through hard work and the help and support of her new friends, she is able to overcome her fears. Recommended for children ages 5 to 8. Available now from Amazon.

Final Bow for Yellowface: Dancing Between Intention and Impact By Phil Chan with Michele Chase

In 2018, Phil Chan co-founded Final Bow for Yellowface with New York City Ballet soloist Georgina Pazcoguin to help change outdated representations of Asians in ballet. Since then, he has become a go-to consultant for ballet companies as they grapple with problematic roles and story lines in classics like The Nutcracker and La Bayadère. His book Final Bow for Yellowface: Dancing Between Intention and Impact dives into issues of racial representation onstage, why they are important to address, and how we can have meaningful conversations about them. He chronicles his own experience as an Asian American, as well as his journey from helping NYCB make adjustments to its Nutcracker Tea variation to consulting Ballet West on their 2019 reconstruction of Balanchine’s Le Chant du Rossignol. Chan offers advice for arts organizations on how to have these discussions about race with understanding and open ears, as well as outlining what ballet must do to stay relevant as audiences grow more diverse. Available Now from Yellow Face.

Ballet By Arthur Elgort

Famed fashion photographer Arthur Elgort has long had a passion for ballet, capturing behind-the-scenes moments of dancers young and old for decades. Ballet spans Elgort’s photographic career, offering 114 previously unpublished images. Vintage black-and-white photos of New York City Ballet rehearsals and students at Russia’s esteemed Vaganova Ballet Academy mix with candid portraits, featuring dance luminaries like Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Uliana Lopatkina and many more. Available Now from Steidl Books

Vertebral Consciousness: Fearlessly Moving Your Spine—Dance By Conna-Lee Weinberg

MindfulSpine founder Conna-Lee Weinberg wants dancers to think differently about the spine and what it is capable of. Weinberg—a psychophysical educator whose clients include Olympic athletes, yoga instructors and professionals dancers—argues that while we are often taught that the spine lends to movement, we actually have the ability to self-direct and initiate movement from each individual vertebrae, resulting in better alignment and healthier backs. But most of us aren’t able to connect our brains to our vertebrae in the same way we can our fingers or toes. Vertebral Consciousness: Fearlessly Moving Your Spine—Dance offers an in-depth guide on how to develop a better brain–body connection, with detailed anatomical breakdowns of the vertebral bones and muscles, visualization techniques, exercises, and more. The end of the book delves into common Pilates, yoga and ballet exercises to help dancers put what they’ve learned into practice. Available now from Amazon.

Ann Miller: Her Life and Career By Peter Shelley

From a child actor in Hollywood to a major comeback on Broadway, Miller’s story is told with care. Known for her incredible dance skills in addition to her acting prowess, some of Miller’s most memorable films include Easter ParadeKiss Me, Kate, and On The Town. On stage, she starred in Sugar Babies (earning a Tony nod) and Mame, among others. Available now from McFarland Publishing.

But He Doesn’t Know the Territory By Meredith Willson

Now featuring a new foreword by noted singer and educator Michael Feinstein, Willson brings readers back in time with him to the 1950s to experience firsthand the exciting trials and tribulations of creating the Tony-winning classicThe Music ManAvailable now from University of Minnesota Press.

God, Sex, and Musical Theatre: Meditations for Unlocking the Powerful Self By Kristin Hanggi

Tony-nominated director Hanggi (Rock of Ages, Bare: A Pop Opera) shares some of her personal writings that explore what it means to be a creative spirit in search of self-awareness. In addition, she encourages readers to explore their own path and journey to self-discovery when it comes to faith, love, art, and more. Available now from Birch Bench Press.

Working on a Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown By Anaïs Mitchell

Tony-winning composer Anaïs Mitchell offers an inside look at the Hadestown score and shares behind-the-scenes stories. In addition to a complete set of lyrics with notes and first drafts, Working on a Song includes insights into the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the journey to making the lead characters believable, the ins and outs of opening a show on Broadway, Mitchell’s writing room and team, and more. Available now from Plume.

American Utopia By David Byrne and Maira Kalman

Following its Broadway run in the fall of 2019, the Talking Heads front man and illustrator Kalman came together to bring the show’s message of hope, pathos, and humanism to book form. Using the song’s lyrics and drawings, American Utopia is an uplifting reminder that all is not lost in the world we live in. Available now from Bloomsbury Publishing.

Hamilton and the Law: Reading Today’s Most Contentious Legal Issues Through the Hit Musical By Lisa A. Tucker

A look into the legal community’s response to the Tony-winning musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this book features a cast of legal minds, including two former U.S. solicitors general, who contribute magazine-style articles to create a collection of think pieces that connect Broadway and problems facing the justice system, including domestic abuse, systemic racism, and the second amendment. Available now from Cornell University Press.

Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise By Scott Eyman

Drawing on the Oscar nominee’s personal writings, archival research, and interviews with family and friends, Eyman presents a portrait of Grant from his growing up in England to his time on Broadway to becoming one of Hollywood’s most iconic leading men. Available now from Simon & Schuster.

Jagged Little Hill: You Live, You Learn By Alanis Morissette, Diablo Cody, and the cast and crew of the musical

Go behind the scenes of Jagged Little Pill with photography, interviews with the cast, crew, Alanis Morissette, and Diablo Cody, and an introduction from Morissette on the LP’s journey from a hit ‘90s album to Broadway musical. The book includes a full annotated libretto and a retrospective look at Morissette’s artistic influences. Available now from Grand Central Publishing.

The 10-Minute Musical, an Anthology from the Sound Bites Festival By Theatre Now

Theatre Now presents The 10-Minute Musical, an anthology compiled from 25 competitors in the annual Sound Bites Festival. Among those included are Book Lovers by Talaura Harms and Jonathan Bauerfeld; Pellets, Cherries, and Lies: The Pac Man Story by Erik Przytulski; and Run This Town by Cindy Sideris and Assaf Gleizner. In addition to music, lyrics, and production notes for each short musical, the book features a foreword by NY1 chief theatre critic Roma Torre. Available now from Theatre Now New York.

Starring Women: Celebrity, Patriarchy, and American Theater, 1790-1850 (Women, Gender, and Sexuality in American History) By Sara E. Lampert

Exploring overlooked female performers from Europe and the United States, Lampert explores the lives and careers of a number of women whose work shocked and excited early U.S. audiences. Sparking debates about women’s place in public life with their roles on stage, the performer’s wealth and prominence did nothing to break the patriarchal structures that governed their lives and careers. Available now from University of Illinois Press.

Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway By Michael Riedel

Highlighting the transformation of Broadway in the 1990s, Riedel looks at RentAngels in AmericaChicagoThe Lion King, and other shows that changed the history of the American theatre. Sharing the drama behind every mega-hit or short run, readers will learn about the high-stakes premieres, fraught rehearsals, tough contract negotiations, intense Tony Award battles, and more that defined the decade. Available now from Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster.

Pulling Harvey Out of Her Hat: The Amazing Story of Mary Coyle Chase By Mimi Pockross

How did a housewife with three children living in a working-class Irish community in Denver, Colorado, became a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright? Using a historical account of the theatre industry, Pockross follows Chase’s creation of Harvey under FDR’s Federal Theatre Project in the 1940s, and the people involved like Brock Pemberton, Antoinette Perry, Frank Fay, and Jimmy Stewart. Available now from Limelight Editions.

I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are By Rachel Bloom

A collection of personal essays, poems and even amusement park maps on the subjects of insecurity, fame, and anxiety from the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator and star. In this exploration of what she thinks makes her different, Bloom comes to realize that a lot of people also feel this way, even people who she otherwise thought were “normal.” Available now from Grand Central Publishing.

This is Not My Memoir By Andre Gregory and Todd London

Theatre director, writer, and actor Gregory shares memories from his life and career, including the making of My Dinner with André, the days of wartime Paris and golden-age Hollywood, and his visits to monasteries in India. Included are stories about celebrities like Jerzy Grotowski, Helene Weigel, Gregory Peck, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, and Wallace Shawn. Available now from Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.

Cast of Mentors: Short Sage Advice From 50 Broadway Superpowers By Ken Davenport

A deep dive into the workings of Broadway, this collection of insights features excerpts of interviews from Davenport’s own podcast The Producer’s Perspective. Among the theatre makers featured in the book are Lynn Ahrens, Michael Arden, Stephen Byrd, Alan Cumming, Mandy Gonzalez, David Henry Hwang, Kenny Leon, Robert Lopez, Joe Mantello, Kathleen Marshall, Pam McKinnon, Terrence McNally, Leigh Silverman, and Ali Stroker. Available now from Davenport Theatrical Enterprises.

Time to Act: An Intimate Photographic Portrait of Actors Backstage By Simon Annand

British photographer Simon Annand captures the focus and tension of performers before they take the stage, including Cate Blanchett (who pens the foreword), Orlando Bloom, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Judi Dench. Available now from Lannoo Publishers.

I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Baby: Dorothy Fields and Her Life in the American Musical Theater By Kristin Stultz Pressley

One of America’s most talented lyricists, Fields was a contemporary of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, and others. In his biography, get to know the Oscar winner as well as the stories behind the creation of classics such as Annie Get Your GunRedheadSweet CharitySeesaw, and more. Available now from Applause.

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