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'Broadway' has been the stuff of theatrical legends for generations. In this fascinating and affectionate account of a unique theatrical phenomenon, Andrew Harris takes an intriguing look at both the reality and the myth behind the heart and soul of American Drama
Broadway Theatre explores:
* the aims and achievements of such major figures as Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill and David Mamet
* the processes a play goes through from preliminary draft to opening night
* the careful balancing between aesthetic ideals and commercial considerations
* the place of producers, reviewers, agents and managers and their contribution to the process
* the relationship between acting styles and writing syles for Broadway plays
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Examining the rich history of Broadway theater certainly is not a new topic, but Harris, who teaches theater at Texas Christian University, successfully synthesizes decades of writings on the subject to prove a worthy point: the art of theater and the business of theater always have been and always will be in conflict. That said, many live dramas, which surely altered the way America saw itself and made a lot of money, blossomed from this fundamental contradiction. On the flip side of the same coin, the American musical, Harris believes, is "rank commercialism," born from business having had the upper hand. After a fast-paced, highly selective look at the roots of American theater, Harris takes readers through the lives--from inception through opening night--of six carefully chosen Broadway plays, including You Can't Take It with You , Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and, in an especially moving examination, Death of a Salesman . It is truly a unique journey, in which the reader comes to see how art and commerce can weave mysterious magic when carefully applied to one craft. At times the text reads too much like a dissertation, which might frustrate the general interest reader, but those who read beyond that will find themselves at once a history student, a fly on dressing room walls and a witness to the multitude of forces that lead to an opening night.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This excellent, albeit slim history of dramatic theater on Broadway is both educational and entertaining. The six plays that Harris (theatre, Texas Christian Univ.) discusses, one from each decade, were chosen according to "a variety of criteria: popularity, literary merit and durability." He explores the artistic, technical, and administrative factors involved in the production of You Can't Take It with You (1936), Death of a Salesman (1949), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), American Buffalo (1975), and Broadway Bound (1986). The detailed appendix lists the cast and production staff for these six dramas as well as many other major productions. Essential for serious theater collections.
J. Sara Paulk, Satilla Regional Lib., Douglas, Ga.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Routledge, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. 1st PAPERBACK. Seller Inventory # DADAX041510520X
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