PositiveBooklistDriver candidly shares her joys and sorrows and successes and failures with wit, grace, and humor. She has an eye for the telling detail and easily parses the significance of each experience she writes about. The final essay in the collection is particularly affecting. In it, she writes movingly about her mother’s final illness and death in a way that will connect with anyone who has faced that experience. Fans of arts memoirs will enjoy this thoughtful and elegant book.
RaveBooklistIn this history of that movement, he traces its journey across stages and continents and introduces us to a colorful cast of actors, directors, and teachers ... The story of their rivalries and feuds makes for a very compelling script ... This perceptive and well-executed book will engage readers on both sides of the footlights.
PositiveBooklistCandid and engaging ... Theater fans and viewers of Succession will enjoy the personal stories this accomplished actor and raconteur has to tell.
PositiveBooklistAucoin speaks eloquently from his own experience as composer, conductor, writer, and pianist ... With substantial lists of works cited and recommended recordings, Aucoin’s insightful and informative opera history will engage everyone interested in music, including students and opera fans.
PositiveBooklistThis is a funny, frank, and sometimes raunchy \'almost memoir\' in which no topic is off-limits, and all are presented with wit and style ... Whiteside is disarmingly honest as he writes about failures as well as triumphs. Teddy O’Connor’s quirky line drawings add just the right flourish to this singular book.
PositiveBooklistThe interviews in this blend of oral history and theater memoir are frank and friendly ... A captivating story ... Theater fans welcoming Broadway’s reopening in the wake of the COVID-19 emergency will enjoy revisiting one of its most glorious productions.
PositiveBooklistA philosopher at heart, Renato expounds on everything, especially love ... Mirabelli is a skillful storyteller, deftly weaving all these stories into a rich, colorful tapestry of love, loss, and art. Rivaling grand opera for passion and plot, Renato! is sure to delight readers who appreciate captivating storytelling.
RaveBooklistArt historian Saltzman’s narrative is packed with drama and detail, while an epilogue traces the enormous painting’s fate during the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. With its extensive bibliography and compelling story, Plunder will appeal to everyone interested in Western art and civilization.
André Gregory and Todd London
PositiveBooklists a director, actor, writer, teacher, and painter, Gregory has a lot to say, and he says it with style and no little substance. Readers fascinated by theater, film, and the creative process will want to pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and feast on the thoughts of one of the theater’s great artists.
PositiveBooklist... told with all the wit and style readers could wish for ... Theater fans longing to see a show during this sequestered time will enjoy this entertaining look at what happens before and after the curtain goes up.
Anthony M. Amore
PositiveBooklistAmore does a fine job of presenting the facts of Dugdale’s life and dispelling the myths about her exploits. A fascinating account of political fervor and purpose and a woman who had the courage of her convictions.
PositiveBooklist... a collection of stories that would enliven any art appreciation syllabus. In a dozen carefully compiled chapters, each either unexpected, slightly odd, or strangely wonderful, she presents the most arcane information in a lively, accessible, and engaging way ... This delightful compendium ends with a bibliography and list of recommended reading ... This volume will certainly do that for casual museum-goers, art aficionados, and the just plain curious.
PositiveBooklistHolden tells an engaging story packed with period detail and enough anecdotes to satisfy the most avid royal watcher. This is a warm and often witty work of biographical historical fiction that deftly weaves fact with imagination into an engaging tale of life behind the palace walls. Fans of the genre and of the British royals will find it absolutely delightful.
Jerome Robbins, Ed. by Amanda Vaill
RaveBooklistMining the rich lode of his archive...Vaill \'offers a different perspective on this contradictory artist than has been possible in any of the biographical works about him.\' The result is a carefully curated and meticulously footnoted selection of journal entries, correspondence, sketches, photographs, and more, followed by a chronology that highlights a selective list of personal and professional moments. This is a fascinating backstage look at the creation of such iconic Broadway shows as West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof and such modern ballet classics as Fancy Free and N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz, as well as a glimpse into the mind of a singular artist.
RaveBooklistBy virtue of his unfettered access to Margaret Thatcher, her papers, and her close associates, Moore tells a personal as well as political story not usually found in biographies of world leaders ... Moore provides a thoughtful, impeccably researched account that thoroughly documents a major figure in modern British and world history ... Moore gives everything he can in this complete and comprehensive work.
Mark Morris and Wesley Stace
RaveBooklistMorris is frank, joyful, and, at times, provocative, but he never pontificates. As one of the most original and innovative choreographers in modern dance, he lets his work speak for itself. He relates his life story simply and honestly and never seems to take himself too seriously ... A fascinating memoir that will engage anyone interested in dance, movement, or the creative process.
PositiveBooklist... engaging and instructive ... Sixteen gems by eight American masters of song are analyzed and set into historical and cultural context, resulting in a greater appreciation of these American musical masterpieces. Songs reflect the world in which they are created, and their back stories reveal much about the songwriters and the milieu in which they plied their craft. The songs selected for examination make for a musical theater fan’s ultimate playlist. Readers who don’t read music will be glad to hear that there is a companion website on which you can see and listen to the musical examples printed in the book. A treat for music fans and a great addition to any performing arts or popular culture collection.
PositiveBooklistUsing a variety of source material, including letters, personal papers, and portraits, Clubbe constructs a richly layered interpretation of the composer’s life and work ... An interesting approach to biography that adds depth to our appreciation of the world’s most famous classical composer.
PositiveBooklist...this slim volume...drills down to the essential core of a complicated man...and consummate artist. In a skillful blend of personal biography and professional profile, Lesser reminds us of Robbins’ place in twentieth-century dance and theater and fosters a new appreciation for his legacy. A fine addition to dance and performing-arts collections.
RaveBooklist OnlineThe author of Beethoven: The Man Revealed (2013) and Mozart: The Man Revealed (2017) this time \'reveals\' Giuseppe Verdi, \'the greatest of all Italian operatic composers and a patriotic advocate of Italian independence.\' Like many composers, Verdi the man was a complicated individual. He would often proclaim that he hated composing only to write another opera...He couldn’t wait to leave his small hometown, but he eventually acquired property nearby and built an estate and farm. He advocated for Italian independence and was elected to office, but he never served ... \'He was a man who rejected adulation, had a certain contempt for formality and officialdom, and was truly happy only when he was pursuing one of his two passions: agriculture and music.\' ... Music lovers and opera aficionados will applaud Suchet’s skillfully orchestrated biography.
RaveBooklistRichardson’s telling of the story of the Nutter brothers’ journeys from humble beginnings to the sex, drugs, and rock and roll escapades of the 1970s and 1980s features a remarkable cast of characters and intriguing photographs, including the iconic album cover of Abbey Road, on which three of the Beatles wear Nutter suits. As gay men in an intolerant time, the Nutters often had to navigate a hostile mainstream society, but they did find acceptance in their chosen fields. Richardson’s social history of the fashion and music scenes in two resonant twentieth-century decades in London and New York is astute and fascinating.