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5.0 out of 5 stars A IS FOR AWESOME, B IS FOR BUY, C IS FOR CUTE . . ., October 25, 2009
This review is from: Lights on Broadway: A Theatrical Tour from A to Z, with CD (Hardcover)
They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway.
Things are pretty bright on paper too.
And that's because of "Lights on Broadway: A Theatrical Tour From A to Z, a new book in which the bright lights of Broadway, as well as many other theatrical wonders, vividly come to life. The words are by Harriet Ziefert, but the real "stars" here are Elliot Kreloff's colorful and energetic illustrations and the quotes from Broadway luminaries such as Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Billy Crudup, Harvey Fierstein and Stephen Sondheim.
Entries for each letter of the alphabet introduce readers to behind-the-scenes Broadway: A for audition, actor, audience and applause; M for marquee and matinee; S for stage, scenery, script and set. And so the stage is set for a world involving the Tony Award, the many people it takes to bring a performance to life, the information printed on a ticket and other essential backstage babble.
Another performer front and center (or it is that front and end?) is Brian Stokes Mitchell, the award-winning thespian and the present president of The Actors Fund. At the book's beginning, he gushes: "Welcome to my house, my home, my Broadway! As you take this very special tour, perhaps you too will be ignited by the incredible collaborative magic that gives life and light to the theater."
At the finish, he coos: "Unlike a movie or television program that is the same no matter where you sit or when you see it, live theater is custom-built for each audience. Every performance is different and every individual in that audience has a unique experience that won't be repeated ever again. It's what gives the theater and life. ZING!"
By the way, the book comes with a CD featuring the single "I Was Here," written (in ragtime?) by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and performed by BSM. Better yet: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to The Actors Fund. Even better: Mitchell with star in a "semi-staged production" of Annie Get Your Gun at Chicago's Ravinia Festival opposite Patti LuPone, August 13-15, 2010. The musical revival will be directed by Lonny Price. Paul Gemignani will conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, commemorating the 150th anniversary of Annie Oakley's birth.

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Location: THE ENTERTAINMENT REPORT (ALAN W. PETRUCELLI)

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