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It Happened on Broadway: An Oral History of…
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It Happened on Broadway: An Oral History of the Great White Way

by Myrna Katz Frommer, Harvey Frommer

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5511332,689 (3.9)1
In this deliciously revealing oral history of Broadway since World War II, more than 100 theater veterans-including Carol Channing, Hal Prince, Donna McKechnie, Hal Holbrook, Andrea McArdle, and Al Hirschfeld-deliver the behind-the-scenes story of the hits, the stars, the feuds, and the fiascoes. Black-and-white and color photos throughout.… (more)

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Apologies for the late posting of this LT Early Reviewers review - I thought I had gotten this up earlier.

This book sits somewhere between some other more lighthearted "stories from Broadway performers" type books I've read in the past, or the "Broadway: The Golden Age" documentary, and a darker more serious Broadway history. I certainly think we need both. I would have appreciated some narration by "the authors" (the editors really?) to tie all the collected quotes together however.
  YoungGeekyLibrarian | Oct 4, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was a lot of fun. Recently, my mother has been visiting New York and inviting us to go to Broadway shows with her. It was really fun to read about some of the people who have performed there in historical shows. I loved the first hand accounts from people who were both known to me and new. I did not expect the format of this book to be so much personal narration, but once I got past the unexpected format, I really enjoyed it. Personal narratives are a wonderful way to tell the history and convey the feel of Broadway. An excellent read if you are interested in theater and Broadway especially. i did have to look some people up as I wasn't familiar with them, but that was fun, too. ( )
  jayble | Apr 9, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a lovely book in many ways. The authors have interviewed a wide range of Broadway personalities from an expansive period of time and profession - designers, performers, composers, writers, producers, and more. The stories are compelling, and oral histories offer insights into productions and and historical moments that one cannot otherwise find anywhere else. These stories are irreplaceable treasures, and we can all be grateful to the Frommers and others like them who are documenting this important history. My only complaint about the volume is that it does not include an index, and it is organized thematically. As a theatre historian, scholar, and professor, this makes it difficult to use the book as a reference, though it is a delight to read from start to finish. ( )
  ecolleary | Mar 29, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love behind the scenes stories and this book is full of them. The authors interviewed the movers and shakers - both those in front of and behind the footlights - and came up with a beautiful tribute to Broadway's golden age. (1940's to 1990's). It was so neat reading about the how the stars came to their iconic roles, how various plays and musicals came to be (or almost didn't), and just what made Broadway tick. Recommended for anyone who loves the "Great White Way". ( )
  dulcibelle | Mar 5, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"It Happened on Broadway" collects bits of interviews with dozen of members of the Broadway theater community to try to give a sense of the history of the stage. When several interviews work together to illuminate a particular show or personality, the format works quite well. However, many of the quotes are short, one off bits that seemed random. Similarly, while in a few places the transitions between subjects works well (for example, using Donna McKechnie to pivot between choreographers Bob Fosse and Michael Bennett), often the abrupt shifts in subject are quite jarring. Lacking from the book is any indication of when the interviews were conducted, so when someone makes a claim about "these days", it's unclear when they mean. The latest interviews seem to be from the late 90s, and a quick internet search shows the book was initially published in 1998. The book concludes with a chapter lamenting the death of Broadway and its replacement with spectacle, a common assessment by anyone from the previous generation of industry professionals. However, it's a conclusion that comes off a bit overstated, especially considering how broadway has continued to evolve in the 15 years since the book's publication. Press Agent Mickey Alpert, quoted in the book, got it right: "It wasn't better [before], it was different".
  Physiker | Feb 16, 2015 |
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Frommer, Harveymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a husband-and-wife team who are co-authors of this work.
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