From Library Journal
While ample material on hit Broadway musicals is readily available, detailed critical information on musical flops has been difficult to come by. Mandelbaum's ( "A Chorus Line" and the Musicals of Michael Bennett , LJ 6/15/89) informative and entertaining survey of almost 200 musical flops from 1950 to 1990 fills the void admirably. Framed by the 1988 megaflop Carrie , which theater buffs still speak of in hushed tones, the shows are presented thematically rather than chronologically, thus better underscoring the reasons for failure. While Mandelbaum can be scathing about mediocre material, he carefully analyzes each show, pointing out both problems and strengths, and demonstrates a keen insight into Broadway musical history. Brief synopses and fascinating backstage gossip combine with intelligent criticism and well-chosen illustrations to make this study a required addition to all theater collections. Highly recommended.- Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Highly readable...strong opinions backed up by solid judgment. Mr. Mandelbaum has seen nearly everything and is not easily taken in....Justified affection for worthy scenes, wisely tempered by shrewd analysis...Mr. Mandelbaum has a very good ear that leads him to champion scores that have had smaller cult followings...As befits the subject, Not Since Carrie is full of entertaining backstage reportage...The illustrations are also fun and wittily chosen, whether embarrassing production photos or sadly hopeful posters and advertising."--Frank Rich, The New York Times/WQXR
"A must-read."--Alex Witchel, The New York Times
"Best theater book of 1991...breathtaking research and pointed, but not cruel, wit."--David Patrick Stearns, USA Today
"Of all the theater books I've come across lately, none has entertained me more than Ken Mandelbaum's Not Since Carrie, a lively, illustrated account of forty years of Broadway musical flops."--Doug Watt, New York Daily News
"An enormously amusing read...I cannot recall enjoying a theatre book as much as Not Since Carrie in a long time."--Hap Erstein, The Washington Times
"The book we have all been waiting for. Not only does [Mandelbaum] identify more than two hundred flops by name, he analyzes each and every one of them at some length and misses very little in the way of backstage intrigue. Mandelbaum's chapter "Don't Let This Happen to You" could double as a primer for people who write musicals or aspire to write them. Fascinating book, this-- most definitely not a flop. It practically reads itself. And just chockful of stuff that's hard to find elsewhere."--Nels Nelson, Philadelphia Daily News
"Essential and hilarious."--The New Yorker