Latin History for Morons


John Leguizamo - 2019
    But once he sets out on his irreverent crash course across three continents and three millennia of history—from conquistadores to cumbia, Montezuma to Menudo, and taking on the characters in all of it—he uncovers provocative truths that shock even him.Entertainment Weekly called Latin History for Morons “boisterous and joyful” during its Broadway run at Studio 54, directed by Tony Taccone. A play that The New York Times says “poses sharp and timely questions of what culturally defines American identity,” Leguizamo’s newest solo adventure is educational and uproarious and is adapted exclusively for Audible.

Strippers, Showgirls, and Sharks: A Very Opinionated History of the Broadway Musicals That Did Not Win the Tony Award


Peter Filichia - 2013
    In "Strippers, Showgirls and Sharks", the popular syndicated theatre critic Peter Filichia chronicles the history of the American musical by looking at those shows that did not win the Tony Award for Best Musical. It happens every spring: The American Theatre Wing bestows its annual awards. Only those shows that have reached Broadway are nominated and while all Tony Awards are created equal in height, width and depth, the universally acknowledged biggest prize is the Best Musical Tony. The envelope is opened. The winner is announced and, then, the screeching begins. "Oh no! They gave it to that?" Did the best musical always win the Best Musical prize? Were there other factors that kept a more deserving show from copping the prize? Peter Filichia answers all these questions and more in "Strippers, Showgirls and Sharks" as he looks at many of the 153 previous Best Musical Nominees that didn't win the big prize. What were the biggest omissions? "Gypsy" had the distinct displeasure of not being either the first or second choice of the committee. In 1959 when Ethel Merman and a variety of strippers took the stage, the Tony for Best Musical was a tie between "The Sound of Music" and "Fiorello". In 1971, Stephen Sondheim's "Follies" and its ghostly showgirls lost to a "groovy" re-tuning of "Two Gentlemen of Verona" that hasn't passed the test of time. And, in 1957, "West Side Story", its Jets and Sharks, were bested by the fine people of River City Iowa singing their Americana hearts out in "The Music Man". If you love Broadway, scratch your head on Tony Award night and still can't figure out how a show you loathed won the Tony for Best Musical, you will love riding through the years with Peter Filichia, one of America's most respected and popular theatre critics.

Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock


Richie Unterberger - 2000
    From folk-rockers to blue- and brown-eyed soulsters to rock sati

Come From Away: Welcome to the Rock: An Inside Look at the Hit Musical


Irene Sankoff - 2019
    On September 11, 2001, 38 planes and 6,579 passengers were forced to land in the provincial town of Gander, Newfoundland. The local residents opened their arms to the displaced visitors, offering food, shelter, and friendship. In the days that followed, cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. Come From Away: Welcome to the Rock is the ultimate companion piece to Irene Sankoff and David Hein's smash-hit musical based on that extraordinary experience. Featuring the complete book and lyrics for the first time in print, a foreword by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and exclusive photos of the company and physical production, this essential companion also includes original interviews with passengers, Gander residents, and the actors who portray them. The narrative by theater historian Laurence Maslon details the events of that memorable and challenging week and also traces the musical's development from the ten-year reunion of residents and airline passengers in Gander, where the idea for the musical was born , to the global phenomenon it is today. Come From Away: Welcome to the Rock gives an unprecedented look behind the curtain and demonstrates why the story has touched so many so deeply: Because we come from everywhere, we all come from away.

Shakespeare of London


Marchette Gaylord Chute - 1949
    But of almost equal importance in this great book is the city of London itself – that brilliant, lively, creative city in which Shakespeare's art was rooted and through which it flourished. As John Mason Brown has said, "… I will tell you the truth. I have never read a book which gave so vivid a picture of the times, the theatre companies, the outstanding personalities, or the background of Shakespeare's own life.""If I were to recommend one book on Shakespeare, his life, his England, to the average student or layman, this would be the one." - George Freedley, The Library Journal

Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation


Ahmir Questlove Thompson - 2013
    Questlove reveals the remarkable story of the captivating program, and his text is paired with more than 350 photographs of the show's most memorable episodes and the larger-than-life characters who defined it: the great host Don Cornelius, the extraordinary musicians, and the people who lived the phenomenon from dance floor. Gladys Knight contributed a foreword to this incredible volume. Nick Cannon contributed the preface.

An unfinished song: The life of Victor Jara


Joan Jara - 1976
    A lively and honest biography that graphically traces the emergence of Victor Jara's theatre, music and poems, and the crucial role they played in the Chilean workers' movement.

Where Are You Really From?: Kola Kubes and Gelignite, Secrets and Lies - The True Story of an Extraordinary Family


Tim Brannigan - 2010
    Unwilling to have an abortion or to have the baby adopted, Peggy came up with an audacious plan to keep her child. When Tim was born, hospital staff smuggled him into St Joseph's Baby Home and told the rest of the Brannigan family that the baby had been stillborn. One year later, Peggy adopted Tim and brought him to live with her family in the Falls Road area of Belfast. It was 1967.Told here for the first time, this is Tim's extraordinary story, describing in vivid detail what it was like growing up black in Belfast during the Troubles in the 1970s and 80s, his five-year stint in jail for hiding weapons on behalf of the IRA, his coming to terms with the true circumstances surrounding his birth, and his desperate attempts to trace the father who abandoned him. Where Are You Really From? is a fascinating and powerful memoir about one man's struggle to establish his own identity and a moving tribute to the woman who risked everything to keep her son.

Rise Up! Broadway and American Society from Angels in America to Hamilton


Chris Jones - 2018
    It is the story of the embrace of risk and substance. In so doing, Chris Jones makes the point that the theatre thrived by finally figuring out how to embrace the bold statement and insert itself into the national conversation - only to find out in 2016 that a hefty sector of the American public had not been listening to what it had to say.Chris Jones was in the theatres when and where it mattered. He takes readers from the moment when Tony Kushner's angel crashed (quite literally) through the ceiling of prejudice and religious intolerance to the triumph of Hamilton, with the coda of the Broadway cast addressing a new Republican vice-president from the stage. That complex performance - at once indicative of the theatre's new clout and its inability to fully change American society for the better - is the final scene of the book.

The Confederacy: Truth and Reconciliation


T Bone Burnett - 2020
    And his songs, delivered straight from the heart, carry with them the weight of unvarnished truth and the wisdom he’s gathered from a lifetime.Through performance of his own words and music, in just a little more than 90 minutes runtime, T Bone confronts the choking influence of white supremacy in the United States—from its inception to its current state—reckoning with the musical, political, and personal influences that have shaped his career and his understanding of the human spirit in America. Part history, part personal essay, it is above all a call to action: to reject white supremacy and reconcile our nation’s racist past.Delivered in his steadfast, gritty voice, T Bone’s meticulously crafted prose recounts the horrors of our nation’s history, its far-reaching, systematic oppression of African Americans to this day, the delusion of grandeur much of Anglo-America still suffers from, and the critical need for personal and societal change if we are to redeem ourselves in any capacity—and survive as a people. All of this T Bone lays bare, not by high-and-mighty finger pointing but through a sense of shared destiny and faith in each other. T Bone’s Words + Music is an honest hand reaching out for ours, urging us to grapple through this, mindfully, together. His words are further punctuated by his own heart-rending music, seamlessly woven in and out of his storytelling, and building upon his open plea. Each song, including "River of Love", "Quicksand", and "Hefner and Disney", is thoughtfully plucked from his prolific catalog.As T Bone connects the dots for us using well-established facts, personal experience, and skillful songwriting, we are drawn to a resounding truth: that although our past is undeniably paved with unspeakable ills, they must be spoken; denying it only compounds the problem. As T Bone rightly concludes, we are all at a difficult crossroads. But his solution could not resonate any clearer: the path forward requires a hard look within. Join T Bone Burnett and listen to his call."Let's make a future where we all want to live.Let's make a past we don't have to forgive."—T Bone Burnett©2020 T Bone Burnett (P)2020 Audible Originals LLC

Becoming Shakespeare: The Unlikely Afterlife That Turned a Provincial Playwright into the Bard


Jack Lynch - 2007
    Unlike later literary giants, Shakespeare created no stir when he died. Though he'd once had a string of hit plays, he had been retired in the country for six years, and only his family, friends, and business partners seemed to care that he was gone. Within a few years he was nearly forgotten. And when London's theaters were shut down in 1642, he seemed destined for oblivion.With the Restoration in 1660, though, the theaters were open once again, and Shakespeare began his long ascent: No longer merely one playwright among many, he became the transcendent genius at the heart of English culture. Fifty years after the Restoration scholars began taking him seriously. Fifty years after that he was considered England's greatest genius. And by 1800 he was practically divine.Jack Lynch vividly chronicles Shakespeare's afterlife—from the revival of his plays to the decades when his work was co-opted and "improved" by politicians and other playwrights, and culminating with the "Bardolatry" of the Stratford celebration of Shakespeare's three-hundredth birthday in 1864. Becoming Shakespeare is not only essential reading for anyone intrigued by Shakespeare, but it also offers a consideration of the vagaries of fame.

On the Line - The Creation of a Chorus Line


Robert Viagas - 1990
    The show is based on a remarkable series of taped discussions made in the mid 1970s with some of the top "gypsies" (veteran Broadway dancers), many of whom went on to play characters based on themselves in the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning musical. In many ways, On the Line: The Creation of "A Chorus Line" is a continuation of the show itself. In this collective oral history, the 19 original cast members tell how they got involved with the project, how they labored through the months of workshops that shaped it, and what its success has meant for their lives and careers. They paint intimate and frank portraits of co-creators Michael Bennett, Joseph Papp, Ed Kleban - and each other. Originally published in 1990, the book has been updated to continue telling their stories over the past 16 years. Wayne Cilento ("I Can Do That") has become a Tony-winning choreographer of shows like Wicked and Aida; Kelly Bishop ("Can the adults smoke?") has become a TV star; Trish Garland has become a California fitness guru, and so forth.

Guitar: An American Life


Tim Brookes - 2005
    the open road. protest and rebellion, the blues, youth, lost love, and sexuality. With adoration Tim Brookes explores these ideas and how they became entwined with the history of America. Shortly before his fiftieth birthday, baggage handlers destroyed his guitar, his twenty-two-year-old traveling companion. His wife promised to replace it with the guitar of his dreams, but Tim discovered that a dream guitar is built, not bought. He set out to find someone to make him the perfect guitar-- a quest that ended up a dirt road in the Green Mountains of Vermont. where an amiable cur mudgeon master-guitar-maker, Rick Davis, took a rare piece of cherry wood and went to work with saws, rasps, and files. Arriving with conquistadors and the colonists, the guitar found itself in an extraordinary variety of hands: those of miners and society ladies. lumberjacks and presidents wives, girls and boys courting in canoes and frolicking on picnics, Hawaiians, African-Americans. Cajuns, Jazz players rehearsing in a men's room in Atlantic City. spiritualists. singing cowboys of the silver screen. bluegrass musicians, and Beatles fans. Inventors and crackpots tinkered with it. In time it became American's instrument, the rhythm of its soundtrack. When Tim wasn't breathing over Rick's shoulder. he was trying to unvravel the symbolic associations a guitar bolds for so many of us, musicians and nonmusicians alike. His quest took him across the country.talking to historians. curators. and guitar makers. As David Spelman, founder and director of the New York Guitar Festival. raved: "Guitaris "a love to the guitar. from a guitar-loved extradinaire."

In the Heights: The Complete Book and Lyrics


Lin-Manuel Miranda - 2013
    During its acclaimed Off-Broadway and Broadway runs, In the Heights became an audience phenomenon and a critical success. It's easy to see why: with an amazing cast, a gripping story, and incredible dancing, In the Heights is an authentic and exhilarating journey into one of Manhattan's most vibrant communities. And with its universal themes of family, community, and self-discovery, In the Heights can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Among the musical's many accolades are two Drama Desk Awards, a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, and a nomination for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Find out what it takes to make a living, what it costs to have a dream, and what it means to be home... In the Heights.

We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans and Comedy


Kliph Nesteroff - 2021
    We used to be from New York. We had a little real estate problem.” In We Had a Little Real Estate Problem, acclaimed comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff focuses on one of comedy’s most significant and little-known stories: how, despite having been denied representation in the entertainment industry, Native Americans have influenced and advanced the art form. The account begins in the late 1880s, when Native Americans were forced to tour in wild west shows as an alternative to prison. (One modern comedian said it was as “if a Guantanamo detainee suddenly had to appear on X-Factor.”) This is followed by a detailed look at the life and work of seminal figures such as Cherokee humorist Will Rogers and Hill, who in the 1970s was the first Native American comedian to appear The Tonight Show. Also profiled are several contemporary comedians, including Jonny Roberts, a social worker from the Red Lake Nation who drives five hours to the closest comedy club to pursue his stand-up dreams; Kiowa-Apache comic Adrianne Chalepah, who formed the touring group the Native Ladies of Comedy; and the 1491s, a sketch troupe whose satire is smashing stereotypes to critical acclaim. As Ryan Red Corn, the Osage member of the 1491s, says: “The American narrative dictates that Indians are supposed to be sad. It’s not really true and it’s not indicative of the community experience itself…Laughter and joy is very much a part of Native culture.” Featuring dozens of original interviews and the exhaustive research that is Nesteroff’s trademark, We Had a Little Real Estate Problem is a powerful tribute to a neglected legacy.