Best Selling Books in Arts & Literature - Theatre

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release date: Apr 03, 2018
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Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution

A revelatory portrait of the creative partnership that transformed musical theater and provided the soundtrack to the American Century

They stand at the apex of the great age of songwriting, the creators of the classic Broadway musicals Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music, whose songs have never lost their popularity or emotional power. Even before they joined forces, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II had written dozens of Broadway shows, but together they pioneered a new art form: the serious musical play. Their songs and dance numbers served to advance the drama and reveal character, a sharp break from the past and the template on which all future musicals would be built.


Though different in personality and often emotionally distant from each other, Rodgers and Hammerstein presented an unbroken front to the world and forged much more than a songwriting team; their partnership was also one of the most profitable and powerful entertainment businesses of their era. They were cultural powerhouses whose work came to define postwar America on stage, screen, television, and radio. But they also had their failures and flops, and more than once they feared they had lost their touch.


Todd S. Purdum’s portrait of these two men, their creative process, and their groundbreaking innovations will captivate lovers of musical theater, lovers of the classic American songbook, and young lovers wherever they are. He shows that what Rodgers and Hammerstein wrought was truly something wonderful.

release date: Jun 17, 2008
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The Miracle Worker: A Play
Based on the remarkable true story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan, this inspiring and unforgettable play has moved countless readers and become an American classic.

Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution because her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Despite the Kellers' resistance and the belief that Helen "is like a little safe, locked, that no one can open," Annie suspects that within Helen lies the potential for more, if only she can reach her. Through persistence, love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate, bringing her into the world at last.
release date: Jul 12, 2016
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The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
The “brilliantly wry” (Lena Dunham) and “lovably awkward” (Mindy Kaling) New York Times bestseller from the creator of HBO’s Insecure.

In this universally accessible New York Times bestseller named for her wildly popular web series, Issa Rae—“a singular voice with the verve and vivacity of uncorked champagne” (Kirkus Reviews)—waxes humorously on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits and black as cool.

I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?

Being an introvert (as well as “funny,” according to the Los Angeles Times) in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award-winning hit series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, is that introvert—whether she’s navigating love, the workplace, friendships, or “rapping”—it sure is entertaining. Now, in this New York Times bestselling debut collection written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself—natural hair and all.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one—awkward or cool, black, white, or other—will want to miss.
release date: Mar 27, 2018
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Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning

Leslie Odom Jr., burst on the scene in 2015, originating the role of Aaron Burr in the Broadway musical phenomenon Hamilton. Since then, he has performed for sold-out audiences, sung for the Obamas at the White House, and won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. But before he landed the role of a lifetime in one of the biggest musicals of all time, Odom put in years of hard work as a singer and an actor.

With personal stories from his life, Odom asks the questions that will help you unlock your true potential and achieve your goals even when they seem impossible. What work did you put in today that will help you improve tomorrow? How do you surround yourself with people who will care about your dreams as much as you do? How do you know when to play it safe and when to risk it all for something bigger and better?

These stories will inspire you, motivate you, and empower you for the greatness that lies ahead, whether you’re graduating from college, starting a new job, or just looking to live each day to the fullest.

release date: Oct 01, 1990
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84, Charing Cross Road
This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road. Through the years, though never meeting and separated both geographically and culturally, they share a winsome, sentimental friendship based on their common love for books. Their relationship, captured so acutely in these letters, is one that has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world.

"84, Charing Cross Road will beguile and put you in tune with mankind... It will provide an emollient for the spirit and sheath for the exposed nerve." -- The New York Times

"A unique, throat-lumping, side-splitting treasure." -- San Francisco Examiner
release date: Sep 18, 2018
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Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling
From the internationally best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy, a spellbinding journey into the secrets of his art--the narratives that have shaped his vision, his experience of writing, and the keys to mastering the art of storytelling.

One of the most highly acclaimed and best-selling authors of our time now gives us a book that charts the history of his own enchantment with story--from his own books to those of Blake, Milton, Dickens, and the Brothers Grimm, among others--and delves into the role of story in education, religion, and science. At once personal and wide-ranging, Daemon Voices is both a revelation of the writing mind and the methods of a great contemporary master, and a fascinating exploration of storytelling itself.
release date: Sep 15, 2015
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Oscar de la Renta: His Legendary World of Style
A sumptuous monograph tracing the life and legacy of fashion luminary Oscar de la Renta. In October 2014 one of the fashion world’s champions, Oscar de la Renta, passed away, a great loss brightened by the innumerable successes of his half-century reign. The acclaimed fashion designer  dressed first ladies from Kennedy to Obama, and celebrities from Beyoncé to Sarah Jessica Parker. Renowned for his unique charm, impeccable taste, and original lifestyle, he married the highest standards of French couture with the ultimate motivation that women must look and feel beautiful. 
In this intimate volume, longtime editor and friend André Leon Talley recounts de la Renta’s journey through nearly 70 iconic dresses, mainly made for private clients, accompanied by fascinating stories of the exquisite craftsmanship and the legendary friends that brought each gown to life. Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, de la Renta left for Madrid at nineteen to study art, where he rose to prominence as a sketch artist for newspapers and fashion houses. From his apprenticeship under Cristóbal Balenciaga to his eponymous collections, the designer’s simple lines elevated with a flamenco dancer’s flourish reflect his deep connection to his roots and his commitment to transcendence through beautiful garments.
release date: Oct 05, 2000
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The Beatles Anthology
This extraordinary project has been made possible because Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr have agreed to tell their combined story especially for this book. Together with Yoko Ono Lennon, they have also made available the full transcripts (including all the outtakes) of the television and video series The Beatles Anthology. Through painstaking compilation of sources worldwide, John Lennon's words are equally represented in this remarkable volume. Furthermore, The Beatles have opened their personal and management archives specifically for this project, allowing the unprecedented release of photographs which they took along their ride to fame, as well as fascinating documents and memorabilia from their homes and offices.

What a book The Beatles Anthology is! Each page is brimming with personal stories and rare vintage images. Snapshots from their family collections take us back to the days when John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey were just boys growing up in Liverpool. They talk in turn about those early years and how they came to join the band that would make them known around the world as John, Paul, George and Ringo. Then, weaving back and forth, they tell the astonishing story of life as The Beatles: the first rough gigs, the phenomenon of their rise to fame, the musical and social change of their heyday, all the way through to their breakup. From the time Ringo tried to take this drum kit home on the bus to their much anticipated audience with Elvis, from the making of the Sgt. Pepper album to their last photo session together at John's house, The Beatles Anthology is a once-in-a-lifetime collection of The Beatles' own memories.

Interwoven with these are the recollections of such associates as road manager Neil Aspinall, producer George Martin and spokesman Derek Taylor. And included in the vast array of photographs are materials from both Apple and EMI, who also opened their archives for this project. This, indeed, is the inside story, providing a wealth of previously unpublished material in both word and image.

Created with their full cooperation, The Beatles Anthology is, in effect, The Beatles' autobiography. Like their music has been a part of so many of our lives, it's warm, frank, funny, poignant and bold. At last, here is The Beatles' own story.

release date: Nov 04, 2003
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Journals
The lyrics notebook and personal journals of Kurt Cobain, iconic singer of the band Nirvana.

Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and who was determined to define his place in that history. Here is a mesmerizing, incomparable portrait of the most influential musician of his time.
release date: May 08, 2018
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On the Road and Off the Record with Leonard Bernstein: My Years with the Exasperating Genius
Celebrating Leonard Bernstein's centenary with an intimate and detailed look at the public and private life of the Maestro written by his former assistant. Foreword by Broadway legend Harold Prince.

"An affectionate portrait of an eminent musician who was driven by demons."
Kirkus Reviews

"Harmon’s personable and warm account of what it was like to work for one of the twentieth century’s musical giants casts new light on Bernstein and his world."
Booklist

"This multifaceted perspective gives readers plenty of salacious gossip paired with insight into Leonard Bernstein’s remarkable artistic achievements later in life."
—Library Journal

On the Road is a colorfully written, unforgettably entertaining and unputdownable book, and is available just in time for LB’s 100th birthday. Unreservedly recommended.
Fanfare Magazine

Leonard Bernstein reeked of cheap cologne and obviously hadn't showered, shaved, or slept in a while. Was he drunk to boot? He greeted his new assistant with "What are you drinking?" Yes, he was drunk.

Charlie Harmon was hired to manage the day-to-day parts of Bernstein's life. There was one additional responsibility: make sure Bernstein met the deadline for an opera commission. But things kept getting in the way: the centenary of Igor Stravinsky, intestinal parasites picked up in Mexico, teaching all summer in Los Angeles, a baker's dozen of young men, plus depression, exhaustion, insomnia, and cut-throat games of anagrams. Did the opera get written?

For four years, Charlie saw Bernstein every day, as his social director, gatekeeper, valet, music copyist, and itinerant orchestra librarian. He packed (and unpacked) Bernstein's umpteen pieces of luggage, got the Maestro to his concerts, kept him occupied changing planes in Zurich, Anchorage, Tokyo, or Madrid, and learned how to make small talk with mayors, ambassadors, a chancellor, a queen, and a Hollywood legend or two. How could anyone absorb all those people and places? Because there was music: late-night piano duets, or the Maestro's command to accompany an audition, or, by the way, the greatest orchestras in the world. Charlie did it, and this is what it was like, told for the first time.
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