Light Fantastic: Adventures in Theatre

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Dial Press, 1996 - Performing Arts - 381 pages
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A timeless collection of essays about the theatre by the celebrated biographer and drama critic at "The New Yorker,"

Theatre criticism, writes John Lahr in his introduction to "Light Fantastic," should conjure "the life of the theatre as well as the life of the play. We are in danger of losing our theatre culture; and these essays are my little rear-guard action to keep the public gaze focused on the lively language and maverick thoughts of theatricals--performers, playwrights, directors, designers--who are the abstracts and brief chronicles of the time.'"

Most of the essays to be found in this, Lahr's first collection, come from "The New Yorker," where Lahr has been drama critic since 1992. Here, the reader will find over forty pieces that represent Lahr's remarkable knowledge of theatrical and cultural history, his astute observations about comics (Roseanne Barr, Peter Cook, Bill Hicks), playwrights (Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams, Tony Kushner, Arthur Miller, Neil Simon, Tom Stoppard), composers (Stephen Sondheim, George and Ira Gershwin, Julie Styne), and directors (George C. Wolfe, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Brook). Most particularly, however, these wide-ranging essays showcase Lahr's unique insight into human nature that has made him an acclaimed, bestselling biographer on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Light fantastic: adventures in theatre

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Lahr (Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton, Knopf, 1978) is one of our most important theater commentators. While he belongs a little more to journalism than scholarship, he clearly has a ... Read full review

Review: Light Fantastic: Adventures in Theatre

User Review  - Jack - Goodreads

Remember Burt Lahr, the Cowardly Lion of The Wizard of Oz? Well, his son John is a great writer who chose to write lots about theater, actors, and acting. This is a collection of short essays and ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Has twice won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about music.

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