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Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater
     

Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater

5.0 2
by Eddie Shapiro (Editor)
 

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In Nothing Like a Dame, theater journalist Eddie Shapiro opens a jewelry box full of glittering surprises, through in-depth conversations with twenty leading women of Broadway. He carefully selected Tony Award-winning stars who have spent the majority of their careers in theater, leaving aside those who have moved on or occasionally drop back in. The women he

Overview

In Nothing Like a Dame, theater journalist Eddie Shapiro opens a jewelry box full of glittering surprises, through in-depth conversations with twenty leading women of Broadway. He carefully selected Tony Award-winning stars who have spent the majority of their careers in theater, leaving aside those who have moved on or occasionally drop back in. The women he interviewed spent endless hours with him, discussing their careers, offering insights into the iconic shows, changes on Broadway over the last century, and the art (and thrill) of taking the stage night after night. Chita Rivera describes the experience of starring in musicals in each of the last seven decades; Audra McDonald gives her thoughts on the work that went into the five Tony Awards she won before turning forty-one; and Carol Channing reflects on how she has revisited the same starring role generation after generation, and its effects on her career. Here too is Sutton Foster, who contemplates her breakout success in an age when stars working predominately in theater are increasingly rare. Each of these conversations is guided by Shapiro's expert knowledge of these women's careers, Broadway lore, and the details of famous (and infamous) musicals. He also includes dozens of photographs of these players in their best-known roles.

This fascinating collection reveals the artistic genius and human experience of the women who have made Broadway musicals more popular than ever — a must for anyone who loves the theater.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
01/01/2014
At age 11, theater journalist Shapiro (coauthor, Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks) became a lifelong lover of the Broadway musical and the women who made them special. As an adult, over the course of five years, he interviewed 21 actresses whose names instantly evoked "Broadway musical" to the reader or listener. It was also important to Shapiro to speak with some of the performers "of a certain age" while they still lived—both Elaine Stritch and Angela Lansbury were 83 when he met with them. Each of the interviews runs between 18 and 24 pages, and the women selected are outstanding: Patti LuPone, Donna Murphy, Audra McDonald, Judy Kaye, Bebe Neuwirth, and Betty Buckley are only some of the great dames included. Some readers may be surprised at the inclusion of Lansbury, longtime star of the TV series Murder, She Wrote, but her first love was the theater, where she got her start. Shapiro states that he wanted to create a tapestry, an oral history, of the last 60 years of American musical theater, and he has succeeded. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers who are interested in the theater, women performers, and those who dream of being on Broadway.—Susan L. Peters, Univ. of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
From the Publisher
"A fascinating and remarkably authentic collection of conversations with theatre aristocracy." —John Kander

"This book is an encyclopedia of modern musical theatre via a series of tender meetings between a diehard fan and his idols. Because of Eddie Shapiro's utter guilelessness, these women open up and reveal more than they ever have before, and we get to be the third guest at each encounter." —Alan Cumming

"Eddie Shapiro has woven together an insightful, inspiring and truly revelatory collection of interviews with these legends of musical theatre. It is an honor to hear personal stories from these incredible women on their creative process and the shows they have graced." —Daryl Roth

"For those who are interested in knowing about the inner lives of the great ladies of the theater, this is the book for you." —Graciela Daniele

"A wonderful collection of interviews that are honest, comprehensive and fascinating. What a treasure to hear all these extraordinary women tell their stories in their own words!" —Kathleen Marshall

"Shapiro states that he wanted to create a tapestry, an oral history, of the last 60 years of American musical theater, and he has succeeded...Highly recommended for readers who are interested in the theater, women performers, and those who dream of being on Broadway." — Library Journal

"[Falling] somewhere between a reference book and my fantasy version of People magazine from a parallel universe where Broadway musicals are the dominant art form...[this] book offers diehard fans new facets to admire about favorites, and newer fans may be inspired to learn more about the myriad shows and personalities mentioned within the book's pages." —Talkin' Broadway

"Elaine Stritch, Patti LuPone, Chita Rivera, Bebe Neuwirth, and Audra McDonald are among the leading ladies taking center stage in this sparkling compilation that chronicles the life and times of the Great White Way." —O, The Oprah Magazine

"Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater is filled with Eddie Shapiro's penetrating interviews with Broadway's most dazzling femmes." —Michael Musto, Out Magazine

"These great ladies of the stage offer a funny, warm, informative and dishy look at the experience of life on Broadway." — Playbill.com

"For theater devotees, Shapiro's book is a veritable treasure trove." —Huffington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199941209
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2014
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
364
Sales rank:
724,835
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Eddie Shapiro is a freelance writer and theater journalist whose work has appeared in Out Magazine, Instinct, and Backstage West. He is the author of Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks.

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Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
From Carol Channing to Chita Rivera, Sutton Foster to Patti Lupone, there are so many of the “GREATS” of musical theater in this book, fantastic stars who bear their souls, that you won't want to miss a page. If you want an insider’s view of life on stage, buy this book! Nothing Like A Dame includes interviews with 21 luminaries of Broadway, all chosen by the author who had a strict criterion he wanted to follow. “...all had to have devoted the majority of their careers to the theater: no one who started in theater but moved on ... no stars from other media who visit Broadway...” (pg. xi). The selection of stars is fantastic and as soon as I received this book, I dived right in, heading straight for number one on my personal favorite list, Angela Lansbury. Rather than write a book that reads like a biography with a few juicy quotes sprinkled in for good measure, the author chose to use a straightforward interview format. There is a brief, one-page synopsis of each star’s career prior to the interview, but then it’s “game on!” and the fun starts. The author, Eddie Shapiro, is a die-hard Broadway fan, who has seen over 1200 Broadway performances and happily admits, “I saw everything, and I loved it all. Even the stuff I hated, I loved.” (pg. xi) His passion and understanding of the theater shows in his knowledgeable, probing questions and as each interview progresses, more intimate confessions and fascinating facts are brought to the surface. Each interview has the air of two friends sitting down on a couch for a casual chat, a moment to reflect on a career, and all the ups and downs that entails. While Shapiro undoubtedly had a series of questions he wanted to ask each artist, the talks sometimes go wonderfully off tangent, as he follows his artists’ stories to unexpected places. For example, Angela Lansbury tells us about Sweeney Todd and how Stephen Sondheim played “The Worst Pies in London” and “...I thought it was so damned funny. It just killed me ... He kept slapping the piano for the dough. He kept getting the lyrics all mixed up. I was immediately terribly interested…” (pg. 86) while Kristin Chenoweth admits how shy she is, “...shy around celebrities. When I met Madonna my manager said, “She really wants to meet you,” but I barely said a thing. I’m a weirdo.” (pg. 284) There are so many great lines in this book, that I could go on quoting them forever ... but I won't. You'll just have to read the book yourself to get lost in the lives of these amazing women. You’ll laugh, cry and come away with a lot of respect for the hard yet incredible lives these Ladies of Broadway have lived. This book is a definite keeper and I for one, am going to put it on my special bookshelf where all my favorite books live. Quill says: If you’re a fan of musical theater, you have got to get a copy of Nothing Like A Dame!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago