12 New Books* by Broadway Stars

Broadway performers Idina Menzel, Gideon Glick, Andy Mientus, Nancy Olson, directors Jack O’Brien and Sheldon Epps are all new authors — of memoirs, novels, a cookbook, a children’s book; not all strictly speaking theater books. And then there is the posthumously published diaries of Alan Rickman.
Ali Stroker, Amber Iman, Cush Jumbo and Tanya Saracho are among the theater artists with new books that are definitely theater, but not conventional books. (See below)

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman
Best known for his villainous movie roles, Rickman was also a consummate theater actor. Running from 1993 to his death in 2016, these diaries provide insight into his public and private life.

Jack in the Box: or, How to Goddamn Direct by Jack O’Brien
The five-time Tony Award–winning director (Hairspray, Coast of Utopia) gathers memories of people, productions, and problems surmounted from his fifty-year career in this how-to handbook. 

My Own Directions: A Black Man’s Journey in the American Theatre by Sheldon Epps
The story of how Epps came into leadership at Pasadena Playhouse after a successful career directing on Broadway and in London.

A Front Row Seat: An Intimate Look at Broadway, Hollywood and the Age of Glamour by Nancy Olson Livingston
Livingston, the 94-year-old veteran of Broadway and Hollywood, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in the 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard, shares reminiscences of her marriages to lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner(My Fair Lady, which he dedicated to her) and to Alan Wendell Livingston, former president of Capitol Records, who created Bozo the Clown), and her many memorable encounters with bold-faced names from Marilyn Monroe to JFK.

Give My Swiss Chards to Broadway: The Broadway Lover’s Cookbook by Gideon Glick and Adam Roberts
Gideon Glick and food writer Adam Roberts have teamed up to write a cookbook with recipes for Yolklahoma!, Clafoutis and the Beast, Yam Yankees, Dear Melon Hansen, etc.

Fraternity by Andy Mientus
A queer YA novel about a mysterious boarding school, a brotherhood that must stay in the shadows, and an ancient evil that could tear it all apart. 

Loud Mouse by Idina Menzel
A lyrical picture book about a little mouse finding her BIG voice, with the help of her sister. 

Bonus: Audio books that are in effect audio-only versions of theatrical performances, several of which (Stroker, Iman, and Fade) I saw — literally — in person.

An Evening with Ali Stroker
In this one-woman show, she performs crowd favorites as well as some unexpected songs while telling stories from her life and talking about her personal motto: “Turn your limitations into opportunities.”

An Evening with Amber Iman
Iman’s concert melds her onstage work in shows such as Shuffle Along and Soul Doctor with her work offstage as a founding member of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition and Black Women on Broadway. 

Fade by Tanya Saracho
When Mexican-born novelist Lucia lands her first TV writing job, she immediately feels out of place in the White, male-dominated writers’ room. Before long, she’s drawn to the only other Latino around, a janitor named Abel, and the two begin an unlikely friendship

Mrs Wickham by Sarah Page
Lydia, the youngest Bennet sister from Pride and Prejudice, sets the record straight.

Gilly Gilly by Cush Jumbo
Forced to confront her family’s dark history or risk perpetuating it for generations to come, a woman sets out to do what her mother and grandmother before her never could. 

You need to subscribe to Audible, or at least agree to a free trial, in order to gain access to these five audio books.

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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