Deconstructing Harold Hill: An Insider's Guide to Musical Theatre

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9780325001661: Deconstructing Harold Hill: An Insider's Guide to Musical Theatre

Following on the success of the very popular and well-reviewed From Assassins to West Side Story comes Deconstructing Harold Hill. This is a book for all fans of musical theatre, and a must for directors and actors. Scott Miller's thoughtful analyses of some of the great works of the musical theatre take the buff or the professional on a journey of discovery. Each chapter looks at one musical, addressing:

  • textual and musical themes
  • ways in which production design can support those themes
  • insight into the motivation and background of the characters
  • historical and social context of the action of the show
  • and much more.
Miller spotlights The Music Man, Chicago, The King and I, Passion, Ragtime, Sunday in the Park with George, and others. All are innovative works, providing a springboard for the kind of in-depth discussion among directors, their actors, and designers that can make working on a musical - or just seeing one - the most satisfying experience you've ever had. You'll never look at musicals the same way again!

Visit the website of Scott Miller's company New Line Theatre at newlinetheatre.com

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About the Author:

Scott Miller is the founder and artistic director of New Line Theatre, an alternative musical theatre company in St. Louis. He holds a degree in music and musical theatre from Harvard University, and he has been writing, performing in, and directing musicals since 1981. He has written six books on musical theatre, including Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Musicals (2011), Strike Up the Band (2007), Let the Sun Shine In (2003), Rebels with Applause (2001), Deconstructing Harold Hill (2000), and From Assassins to West Side Story (1996).

From Booklist:

Miller contends that Americans don't take American musicals seriously; more precisely, American directors don't. That is why, he argues, most of the most imaginative and daring recent Broadway revivals have been directed by Brits and Australians. American directors are less willing to plumb the depths of musicals and to uncover, for instance, Camelot's dark subtext or the deep structure of The Music Man. Miller strives to set things aright by analyzing Camelot, Chicago, The King and I, March of the Falsettos, The Music Man, Passion, Ragtime, and Sunday in the Park with George. He intends for regional and community theater directors to use the book to penetrate to the heart of a show--something he accomplishes admirably well, for music, plot, character development, and performance style each gets a turn under Miller's microscope. In fact, Miller's book is too fascinating to be hogged by would-be directors. Students of theater will find it a godsend, and general audience members for musical theater should find it quite appealing. Jack Helbig

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