Performers are in a dangerous profession. From on-stage heart attacks to magic tricks gone wrong to simple but fatal choreographic errors, the world of show business is filled with stories of those who walked on stage for their ultimate final bow. With that macabre backdrop, authors Jeff Abraham and Burt Kearns, through interviews and anecdotes, explore a host of entertainers who died doing what they loved.Continue reading “The Show Won’t Go On by Jeff Abraham and Burt Kearns”
Conflict is at the core of what makes stories so compelling. These are the complicated moments where everything becomes muddled, elevating characters while driving the plot forward. And for some books … well, the entire narrative is one complicated sparring match, whether verbal or physical or both. Here are three reviews that each showcase an all-out brawl.Continue reading “3 Brawling Book Reviews”
Magic is hardly effortless, but it should still look that way. Expert magician Jake Banfield takes readers through the steps of crafting a magic show that will impress even the most hardened of critics, from rehearsing the tricks to marketing the event.Continue reading “Show Me Cool Magic by Jake Banfield”
Tobe Hooper’s slasher classic, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, premiered in 1974 and the horror genre has never been the same. The grotesque story about a group of unfortunate teens stumbling across a farmhouse of horrors immediately sparked praise and outrage from audiences and critics. Now, author Joseph Lanza peels back the celluloid cover and delves into the tumultuous early ‘70s, exploring the political and social climate that ultimately led to one of the most influential horror movies ever made.Continue reading “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Film That Terrified a Rattled Nation by Joseph Lanza”
Milicent Patrick was one of the most remarkable women working in Hollywood. After being one of Disney’s earliest female animators, she moved her talents onscreen, working primarily as a background extra in many films. She should best be known as the designer of the titular monster in the movie Creature from the Black Lagoon. Yet her contributions have gone largely unknown, stripped from cinema history by a male colleague with an ego. Her life went so underreported that when filmmaker Mallory O’Meara set out to write a biography of Patrick, she wasn’t even sure that she was deceased.Continue reading “The Lady from the Black Lagoon by Mallory O’Meara”
Anyone who spends longer than a few minutes with me knows that I like theatre, particularly musical theatre. When the lights dim, the house hushes, and the first notes of the overture start— there aren’t many moments more magical than that.
Fortunately, even when I’m not able to attend a show, there are plenty of books around that make me feel as if I’m practically there. Even better are the books that pull back the curtain and show the inner-workings of a production. After all, what shows up on the stage is only the final part of the process.
How do performers prepare for a role? What’s the writing process like? What happens if a show is a flop? Who are the crew members who make the whole show work night after night?
All of those questions and more are answered in the books below.Continue reading “5 Broadway Backstage Books”