Top critical review
11 people found this helpful
Purchase with reservations: VERY difficult/Not all info is correct
on December 31, 2011
I am a huge musical theatre fan who collects cast albums, reads books on the subject, watches the Tonys every year, and tries to catch every Broadway tour that comes my way. I've seen shows in NY, London, and even seen shows in foreign languages in other countries. (The German production of Wicked was truly spectacular.) I merely state this to establish some credibility before I give my reasons for disliking this book:
The questions are too difficult to make these quizzes fun. The author writes in the beginning that she tried to make it interesting for hardcore fans like myself as well as casual fans. If this is true, I'm surprised she didn't categorize the quizzes by difficulty level and gives us quizzes ranging from very easy to very hard rather than a whole book of quizzes that only fit in the latter category. As it stands, I could only answer about one in every seven questions. Thus, I can't imagine a casual musical theatre fan getting much enjoyment from this book. Of course, not knowing a question prompts you to look up the answer and learn something new, which is exciting, but not all the information is correct. I reached the "Typically English" quiz covering British shows, only the fourth quiz in the book, and I already ran across a mistake* and a pretty obvious one at that. This leads me to question the validity of other information contained in this book.
Overall, I love the idea of this book. I just think it could have been a touch easier and researched better while still being fun and interesting to ALL those who appreciate musical theatre.
*In the answers section for the "Typically English" quiz (under #10, pg. 199), the author states that Lauri Peters (and the children) from The Sound of Music lost the Best Featured Actress Tony to Sandra Church from Gypsy. She/they actually lost to their costar in The Sound of Music, Patricia Neway.