Memoirs, Cookbooks, and Novels: 12 Books to Curl Up With This Fall | Playbill

Book News Memoirs, Cookbooks, and Novels: 12 Books to Curl Up With This Fall

From previously unpublished conversations with Stephen Sondheim to a fantasy novel about fairies, these theatre artists offer a range of genres to choose from.

Looking to learn more about Stephen Sondheim during his final days? Or need some new recipes inspired by Broadway’s favorite shows? Or want to read a fantasy novel from a playwright? Or need advice on directing and acting? Theatre favorites offer up a range of genres this fall to offer a new book for every type of theatre-loving reader.

Check out these 12 new volumes which offer conversations with Tony winners, insights into designing sets on Broadway, advice from Broadway's leading ladies, and more.

Finale: Late Conversations with Stephen Sondheim
by D. T. Max
New Yorker staff writer D. T. Max shares a collection of interviews with the late Stephen Sondheim, conducted in the last years of the Broadway legend’s life. The unedited interviews offer a portrait of the artist, which was originally meant to be published with the premiere of a new Sondheim musical. In honor of the one-year anniversary of the composer-lyricist’s death, the book will be available beginning November 22.

Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover’s Cookbook
by Gideon Glick, Adam D. Roberts, and Justin “Squigs” Robertson
Put on your favorite original cast recording and step into the kitchen with Tony nominee Gideon Glick’s cookbook for Broadway fans. There's pun-filled recipe names galore, like Yolklahoma!, Clafoutis and the Beast, Yam Yankees, and Dear Melon Hansen. It is co-written by food writer Adam Roberts. Available now.

Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers
by Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green
Through her own words, the life of Once Upon a Mattress composer Mary Rodgers is revealed in this posthumous memoir co-written by New York Times theatre critic Jesse Green. The book takes readers inside Rodgers’ personal life: she was the daughter of Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, she dated Hal Prince, she dealt with rampant sexism in the theatre — it’s a lot! Available now.

The Stage Actor’s Handbook: Traditions, Protocols, and Etiquette for the Working and Aspiring Professional
by Julie Garnyé and Michael Kostroff
Michael Kostroff (The Producers, Les Misérables) and Julie Garnyé (Cats, Come From Away) compiled every unwritten rule of the craft into one volume for aspiring and established actors to reference. Jeff Daniels penned the work’s foreword, and is joined in contributing wisdom by Bebe Neuwirth, John Lithgow, Chita Rivera, Billy Porter, Harvey Fierstein, Sam Waterston, Cynthia Nixon, Patrick Stewart, and more. Available now.

Unprotected: A Memoir
by Billy Porter
Tony winner Billy Porter’s memoir Unprotected is now available in paperback. In it, Porter explores his deeply personal experiences of growing up Black and gay in Pittsburgh, the abuse and prejudice he has faced, and how the arts have helped him heal. Available now.

The Spindle
by Ashley Griffin
Ashley Griffin (Trial) puts her spin on the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty in her debut novel The Spindle. Using original mythology from her Off-Broadway show Snow, Griffin tells the story of how a dark fairy seeks to right her sister’s wrongs — and restore Princess Rose to the kingdom's throne. Available now.

Designing Broadway
by Derek McLane and Eila Mell
Tony-winning set designer of Moulin Rouge! Derek McLane and journalist Eila Mell take readers inside the design process — from coming up with ideas, to researching the setting, to problem-solving staging challenges. The book features discussions with Broadway auteurs such as Moisés Kaufman, Lynn Nottage, John Leguizamo, and more. It also features behind-the-scenes looks at Into the Woods, Hadestown, Hamilton, and more. Available beginning November 22.

Jack in the Box, or How to Goddamn Direct
by Jack O’Brien
Three-time Tony-winning director Jack O’Brien shares insights into the profession of theatre directing through this memoir-meets-handbook. Using experiences from his decades-long career — which includes Hairspray, The Coast of Utopia, and Love Never Dies — O’Brien offers some valuable lessons for aspiring and experienced directors. Available beginning November 15.

Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater
by Eddie Shapiro
Journalist Eddie Shapiro speak with 20 Tony-winning Broadway women — including Chita Rivera, Audra McDonald, Carol Channing, and Sutton Foster in Nothing Like a Dame. Now available as an audiobook, the women share insights into their careers and Broadway in this collection of interviews. Available now.

Staging Story: Five Fundamentals for the Beginning Stage Director
by Robert Moss and Wendy Dann
Robert Moss, founder of Off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons, and Wendy Dann, former associate artistic director of Hangar Theatre, structure their guide for early-career directors around story, intention, character, space, and theme. Sharing insights derived from their experiences, Moss and Dann offer readers a practical approach to developing their personal practices, and a path towards mastering the art of directing. Available now.

A Case of the Zaps
by April Lavalle, Alex Boniello, and James Kwan
Broadway producer April Lavalle (Hadestown) and actor Alex Boniello (Dear Evan Hansen, Spring Awakening) teamed up with illustrator James Kwan to write this children’s book. It follows Pi, a robot that grows concerned about what might go wrong on an upcoming class trip. The pair collaborated with the Child Mind Institute to explore anxiety in the book, which is meant to help families start conversations about mental health. Available now.

Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical Follies
by Ted Chapin
Ted Chapin’s book, which takes readers through the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, has released a new audiobook version. Broadway actor Jonathan Groff narrates the book, which was originally published in 2003, and recently updated for the Tony-winning show’s 50th anniversary. Available now.

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