2010. 90. Showtime

"The title of this book needs no apology - but it might warrant a little explanation."

Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater, Larry Stempel

        The subtitle is pretty self-explanatory - this is a history of the Broadway theater.  I read it because I saw it reviewed in the New York Review of Books*, and because I’m a bit of a Broadway Baby myself (seriously, my favorite channel on Sirius is 77 - all Broadway, all the time!).  It’s a very through and scholarly history, and yet still manages to be a accessible to the lay reader.  If I’m totally honest, I’ll tell you that I found the early chapters, which talked about early musical theater in the United States - sort of ur-Broadway, if you will, to be pretty dry - I wanted to read about real musicals - the ones I love, and in that sense I preferred Enchanted Evenings to Showtime, in that I didn’t need to get through one hundred pages of well-written history that didn’t really interest me to get to the good stuff.  However, once I got past that, the parts written about what we consider to be musicals - musicals from Show Boat on - I really enjoyed the book.  Stempel has spent a long time researching and writing his book, and it shows - the book is through, and well researched, but also not too academic as to be unreadable. If you like musical theater, you’ll like this - but I recommend skipping to the 1920’s, unless you are a real devotee.

Categories:  Non-Fiction; Library Book


*At least I think I did.  I read a review, somewhere, anyway. 

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017