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At This Theatre: An Informal History of New York's Legitimate Theatres Hardcover – January, 1985

ISBN-13: 978-0396084686 ISBN-10: 0396084680 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Dodd Mead; First Edition edition (January 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0396084680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0396084686
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,643,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Author Louis Botto is a master at telling stories of theatre past, present and the future. He's been going to the theatre for the past 65 years and has enough stories to fill the main reading room at the New York Public Library.
The book is full of images of old playbill covers, production photographs and souvenir programs from the shows he discuss. and it is not only great as a reference for what show played which theatre, who starred in the production or how long it lasted; but it's a very interesting read and worth every penny you spend.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert S on January 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For any theatre fan or history buff, Louis Botto's At This Theatre is an enjoyable and informative collection of colorfully-illustrated chapters chronicling the many productions and personalities playing at the existing theatres which together constitute "Broadway" today, this revised edition covering all current Tony-eligible houses with a history of legitimate productions (plus a few more theatrical venues in New York City), and including a useful index -- something missing from the first edition. One wishes, though, that this hefty volume could be even thicker, but for the many Broadway theatres now gone. However, of those legitimate stages which remain or which have been returned (or are returning) to theatrical glory, this book is an affectionate tribute to a century of plays and musicals on the Broadway stage and the many theatres which house them, some of which have become like a second home to some of us theatregoers. And at a time when corporations and other commercial producers have made it easy for a wary public to be cynical about the crass commercialism which has taken over so much of mainstream culture (including the renaming of some refurbished or rebuilt Broadway theatres), Brian Stokes Mitchell's thoughtful preface reminds us that there is a very human history and a living tradition at these theatres worth knowing and keeping in spite of it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donald Weber on October 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I own the first edition of this book and was
happy to see the new edition come out.
(The first edition was in 1984)
It is tells the history of the 40 Broadway theatres
which are currently being used in NYC.
It is filled with tons of photos from the plays
which have taken place in each theatre as well as
photos of other memorabilia related to the theatre.
The one thing that the books lacks are historic
and contemporary photos of the theatre interiors.
There are some color photos of the New Amsterdam
but very few others.
I think that the book would have had an added dimension
with interior photos of the theatres themselves.
Even without the theatre photos, I would still recommend
this book to any student or fan of Broadway theatre.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book at the BCEFA fair in Shubert Alley and Mr. Botto signed it for me! It's simply the most beautiful theatre book I've ever seen. It really brings back memories. I only wish there was space for me to write in my own stories! And I have plenty!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Lynn Blum on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"At This Theatre" is a delicious appetizer for anyone who is interested in the beginnings of the New York legitimate stage. Louis Botto, who was Senior Editor of "Playbill Magazine" (the official program of Broadway productions) at the time of this book's publishing (1984) gives us a tour of the 34 grand old theatres to be found in New York's theatre district which generally runs from 42nd Street to 53rd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues, neatly bisected by that glorious old street called "Broadway." Beginning with the Lyceum Theatre that opened on November 2, 1903, he includes the architecture, ownership, and opening night play of each house, then goes on to give a quick three or four pages listing the most important productions, flops as well as hits, with a very short commentary on the thespians trodding the boards on each of these stages. As appetizers do, the short chapters make one hungry for more.
But it's the pictures....ah, the pictures. Photographs taken 80 and 90 years ago make the price of this book a steal. Having only heard about the grande dames of the stage, I was familiar with the names Katherine Cornell and Lynne Fontanne, Helen Hayes and Gertrude Lawrence, always imagining them as ancient crones. I was surprised to see photographs of them when they were major stars of the New York theatre scene, as stunningly beautiful young women. Ona Munson, who played stately madame Belle Watling in 1939's epic film, "Gone With the Wind," was a flirty ingénue in a dainty, lacy dress when she appeared in "No No Nanette" in 1925. There's even a picture of Antoinette Perry, the actress for whom the "Tony Awards," theatre's highest honor, were named.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Imagine a compilation of about 40 articles where each one focuses on a different extant Broadway Theatre and you have a notion of what is in this book. Each article covers ownership, architecture, a narrative list of many of the productions the Theater hosted (along with notable cast members) and is accompanied by informative photos. Because it is organized by existing theaters, this is not the most accessible way to learn Broadway history and there are some gaps. Also a map of where the theaters are located would have been nice. But there are treasures to be found here. It's not 'Lion King' but it's worth the price of admission.
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