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Showstoppers!: The Surprising Backstage Stories of Broadway's Most Remarkable Songs (Paperback)
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Showstoppers! is all about Broadway musicals’ most memorable numbers—why they were so effective, how they were created, and why they still resonate. Gerald Nachman has interviewed dozens of iconic musical theater figures to get their inside stories for this book, including Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera, Marvin Hamlisch, Joel Grey, Edie Adams, John Kander, Jerry Herman, Sheldon Harnick, Tommy Tune, Harold Prince, Donna McKechnie, and Andrea McArdle, uncovering priceless previously untold anecdotes and details.
About the Author
Gerald Nachman has been writing about musicals for over fifty years. His reviews, columns, and profiles have been published in the New York Times, the New York Post, GQ, Cosmopolitan, the New York Daily News, the San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, the San Jose Mercury News, and Theater Week. He is the author of six books, including Seriously Funny, Raised on Radio, and Right Here on Our Stage Tonight!: Ed Sullivan’s America.
"The fertile fields of musical theatre have been tilled so well and so often you might think all the gold nuggets have been plucked, published and repeated till they’re lore. Well, think again. Gerald Nachman is a determined, tenacious prospector in addition to being an engagingly witty showbiz historian. In his latest and liveliest tone, SHOWSTOPPERS!, he comes up with some new wrinkles in the old gypsy robe." —Playbill magazine
“Showstoppers! is like a great Broadway season: hit after hit, with nary a flop in sight! Nachman employs the big numbers from the big shows as his entry point into the world of musical comedy, using the showstoppers to analyze how the great shows work and how the various elements, from the cast to the score to the script, come together. Whether you’re a hardcore Broadway buff or a stranger here yourself, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in this well-written, diligently researched volume.” —Will Friedwald,
author of Stardust Melodies: A Biography of 12 of America’s Most Popular Songs
“Gerald Nachman has the great good sense to let the creators of these brilliant theatrical moments speak for themselves, which gives us the feeling that we are really there at the birthing of the songs and dance numbers that have thrilled us all of our theatergoing lives. For that alone, Showstoppers! is a treasure trove of theatrical inspiration.”
—Jack Virtel, author of The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Classic Broadway Shows Are Built
“Wonderfully written and exciting to read.” —Martin Charnin, creator of Annie
“Whether you don’t know a lot about musical comedy or think you know it all, Gerald Nachman’s Showstoppers! has multiple insights, canny observations, and is a lot of fun!” —Ken Bloom, author of Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time
"[Nachman] knows these songs and these shows inside-out and has conducted tireless research and multiple interviews. Fans of show tunes will enjoy dipping in and out of these short, easy-to-read snapshots." —Booklist
“Showstoppers! is a cornucopia of theatre lore, easy to dip into for descriptions of favorite shows.” —Bay Area Reporter
"Veteran theater critic Nachman pens a valentine to the quintessential American musical set piece, the showstopper." —Library Journal