Broadway's Most Wanted™: The Top 10 Book of Dynamic Divas, Surefire Showstoppers, and Box-Office Busts

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Potomac Books Incorporated, Sep 30, 2004 - Reference - 300 pages
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It’s not just a street anymore—it’s a genre of its own, and it’s celebrated in Tom Shea’s Broadway’s Most Wanted™: The Top 10 Book of Dynamic Divas, Surefire Showstoppers, and Box-Office Busts. Part of Potomac's popular Most Wanted™ series, Broadway’s Most Wanted™ sings the praises of musical theater with a dash of whimsy thrown in. Shea honors those who have made musical theater what it is today—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Oh, the ugly! When a show hits gold, the world’s a wonderful place, but a bomb is just as precious and enjoyable in its own perverse way. With more than forty top-ten lists packed full of fun and facts, Shea shows you the best—and worst—that Broadway, off-Broadway, and the rest of the musical theater has to offer.

So while you learn about the amazing people behind the hit Bye Bye Birdie, including the incomparable Chita Rivera, you’ll also read about the ill-fated and laughable Bring Back Birdie, which quickly indicated why Broadway doesn’t do sequels (especially twenty years after the original). While chuckling over how Jimmy Durante and Ethel Merman bickered over top billing for 1936’s Red, Hot, and Blue—with the comical result of their names being written diagonally, crossing in an X—you’ll also find praise for Paul Ford, Stephen Sondheim’s rehearsal pianist, who helps the legendary composer bring his music to life. Musicals run the gamut of topics, and Shea waxes melodic on political, western, rock and roll, and comic-book musicals, plus so much more. They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway; Tom Shea shines just as brightly with Broadway’s Most Wanted™: The Top 10 Book of Dynamic Divas, Surefire Showstoppers, and Box-Office Busts.

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About the author (2004)

Tom Shea is an accomplished singer and actor and, to his knowledge, the only person to have appeared in The Golden Apple; Lady in the Dark; One Touch of Venus; Knickerbocker Holiday; Utopia, Ltd.; and The Grand Duke. He lives in Chicago.

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