I loved this book for all of the stories behind the story, the sure things that misfire and the little shows that turn into monster hits. Filichia’s accounts are full of entertaining anecdotes about changes in personnel, songs that are cut or added, rising stars and difficult divas, and feuding directors and writers. There are clever stories about all of your favorite Broadway stars, directors, composers, lyricists, and producers. Filichia often compares musicals to the books, plays, or real life events from which they were derived. He presents funny catalogs of the mistakes that lead to the big flops. I found out plenty of fascinating details about shows that I thought I already knew well.
Beyond describing the individual shows, Filichia’s book shows the trends that have changed Broadway over the years, such as the rising importance of revivals, ever-increasing budgets, the growth of Disney and jukebox musicals, decreasing sales for cast albums, the emergence of darker material in musical formats, and more. When you’re finished, you’ll have a good understanding of all the forces that have made Broadway into what it is today.
Check the WRL catalog for Broadway Musicals: The Biggest Hit and the Biggest Flop of the Season, 1959 to 2009