I love theatre. I also love books. I really love books about theatre!
I am always looking for ways to bring theatre into my life in every form possible, and it’s more important to me now than ever because I can’t actually go to the theatre right now. One of the ways I’ve really been enjoying that recently is by reading stagey books. Whether it’s fiction telling the story of a stage show, finding out more about the source material of something I’ve seen on stage or getting a sneak peak into the lives of theatre legends through their biographies – I love it all.
I am currently reading The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and I am loving it. It puts a lot more sense into the character of Christine I think because a book allows us to read her thoughts as all the crazy stuff is happening to her. It’s also fun to see how ALW transformed it into the musical we all know from a 1910 French novel.
There are tons of books that were adapted from novels and even a few novels that have been adapted from stage shows. There is also an endless supply of plays and screenplays out there that you can read. Here are my fiction recommendations:
· Wicked by Gregory Maguire
· Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
· Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
· Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
· The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
· Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne & John Tiffany
· Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Benj Pasek, Steven Levenson & Justin Paul
· The Prom by Saundra Mitchell, Matthew Sklar, Chad Beguelin & Bob Martin
· When the Curtain Falls by Carrie Hope Fletcher
· The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
· Billy Elliot by Lee Hall
· The Color Purple by Alice Walker
· Mary Poppins by P.L Travers
· Matilda by Roald Dahl
· City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
· Sentenced to Shakespeare by Iris Dorbian
If you want to know more about the industry or theatre history there’s still loads of books out there to be read. Here are my non-fiction recommendations:
· The Road to Wicked by Kent Drummond, Susan Aronstein & Terri L. Rittenburg
· Changed for Good A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical by Stacy Wolf
· Razzle Dazzle by Michael Riedel
· Working on a Song: The Lyrics of Hadestown by Anais Mitchell
· Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Acting & Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going to the Theatre by West End Producer
· Welcome to the Rock: An Inside Look at the Hit Musical (Come From Away) by Irene Sankoff, David Hein & Laurence Maslon
And for even more insight, you can read about the life and career of your favourite stagey icon from producers to composers to choreographers to actors there’s so many to choose from. Here are my biography recommendations:
· Patti LuPone: A Memoir by Patti LuPone
· A Dancer in Wartime by Gillian Lynne
· Something Wonderful Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution by Todd S Perdum
· A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth
· Too Much is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells
· Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming
· Failing Up by Leslie Odom Jr.
· Unmasked: A Memoir by Andrew Lloyd Webber
· Home Work by Julie Andrews
· Ian McKellen: A Biography by Garry O’Connor
· Me and the Sky by Beverley Bass
How many of these have you read? Have you got a recommendation for me that isn’t on this list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!