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Making It Big: The Diary of a Broadway Musical

Overview

(Limelight). Long-time theatre writer and Los Angeles Times correspondent Barbara Isenberg received rare access to every aspect of the creative process and the financial planning that went into Big...The Musical . "Marvelous. Barbara Isenberg's precise and perceptive account of Big from its birth pangs to its final delivery is a gripping tale of blood, sweat and toys." Larry Gelbart
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Overview

(Limelight). Long-time theatre writer and Los Angeles Times correspondent Barbara Isenberg received rare access to every aspect of the creative process and the financial planning that went into Big...The Musical . "Marvelous. Barbara Isenberg's precise and perceptive account of Big from its birth pangs to its final delivery is a gripping tale of blood, sweat and toys." Larry Gelbart
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a year when the downtown musicals Rent and Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk have electrified audiences in New York City, freelancer Isenberg unfortunately chose to track a far more conventional musical: Big, based on the popular movie starring Tom Hanks. As the title suggests, this is indeed a diary, with many episodic, telegraphic entries, offering an accumulation of detail auditions, rehearsals, advertising, press coverage, tryouts, etc. but little opportunity to develop characters, narrative or point of view. Still, for fans of Big or the musical form, Isenberg's story may entertain: in this case, a movie with no introspection had to be transformed with lyrics that dig deeper into a child's psychology. At tryouts in Detroit, the musical's creators adjusted lyrics, but reviews weren't good and the show's Manhattan opening was postponed for technical reasons. When it opened on Broadway in April 1996, one-third of the score had been changed. The New York Times praised Big, but others found it lagging behind Rent and Funk. Illustrations not seen by PW. Nov. FYI: As this review goes to press, Big's producer, James Freydberg, announced the show's closing on October 13, after losing $10.3 million. There are plans, however, for national and international tours.
Library Journal
A charming 1988 movie, Big became the basis in the mid-Ninties for a Broadway musical, to be created by a strong team of producers, writers, and artists. Theater journalist Isenberg was allowed to observe the whole messy process over several years. This book is her diary of the conception, funding, writing, rehearsing, trials, travels, and tribulations of Big, The Musical. It has a lovable and dedicated cast of characters, who should have produced a real winner. But miscalculation, bad decisions, and truly wretched luck drive this story of excellent work gone awry-which eventually resulted in one of the most expensive failures in Broadway history. This book is not for the weak-hearted or those with illusions about Broadway as the home of art; making this musical was more like making war. A cautionary tale for producers, writers, and artists as well as audiences; recommended.-Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879100889
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Pages: 214
  • Sales rank: 1,449,597
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.89 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2001

    For BIG and Theater Lovers Everywhere

    I read this book within 24 hours of receiving it; it was captivating. If you are a fan of the musical BIG or are interested in behind-the-scenes Broadway, then this book will definately interest you! I have to admit, it's not as glamorous as I thought it might be, but the book way very informative and exciting nontheless. The diary format is an interesting approach. However, the last entry is from Fall of 1996. Since then, there has been a national tour, and Music Theater International bought the rights; both these events brought dramatic changes to the show.

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