Best broadway & musicals books according to redditors

We found 92 Reddit comments discussing the best broadway & musicals books. We ranked the 43 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Broadway & Musicals:

u/McWalkerson · 26 pointsr/livesound

Grab a copy of Mixing a Musical. It’s probably the best book on the subject.

u/_rebstein_ · 16 pointsr/Broadway

“Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812”. I’d be fine with either replicating Mimi Lien’s set for the Broadway production or going back to a smaller, intimate tent setting as it had been done off-Broadway. I never got to see it live, but after reading the story of the making of the musical, I’d really love to see it in either setting. My dream is that they’ll do a milestone anniversary production at some point, even if it’s a limited one month run just in NYC or the ART or something.

u/titanictomato · 9 pointsr/Broadway

If you love Sondheim I highly recommend his Finishing the Hat/Look, I made a Hat. These two books contain lyrics from all his shows, annotated with anecdotes and insightful observations written by Sondheim himself.

Other musicals also have books that trace the whole development process and provide a behind-the-scene look of the show, such as Hamilton: A Revolution, The Great Comet: The Journey of a New Musical to Broadway and Wicked: The Grimmerie

u/PhillipBrandon · 9 pointsr/musicals

I sound like a broken record on this sub, but once again I'm going to recommend the book The Secret Life of the American Muscial by Jack Viertel.

A few specific scores I would personally recommend based on what you've said are:

  • Redhead
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Big River
  • Urinetown, The Musical
  • City of Angels

    Also, for your purposes, I recommend you listen to entire albums, and not shuffled blends so you can see how each song cycle progresses and works together.
u/At_the_Roundhouse · 8 pointsr/Broadway

Maybe sheet music books for those shows, if she doesn't already have them?

Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen also both have really beautiful coffee tables books that would make great gifts. Or the DK book about musicals in general.

u/southern_boy · 8 pointsr/funny

I'm not a fan of musical theatre in general but I really respect and occasionally enjoy Sondheim. 'Into the Woods' in particular...

You're so nice. You're not good, you're not bad, you're just nice.
I'm not good, I'm not nice, I'm just right.

If you haven't, check out his words on his early and later works

u/19callalilies · 8 pointsr/Broadway

You really should give this a read: The Secret Life of the American Musical. Viertel organizes songs to plot a traditional structure of a musical (I Want, Act II openers, 11 o'clock Numbers) and gives examples from musical history from Golden Age through Hamilton. It's a great read and I think neatly lays out what you're trying to do.

u/WashedAwayADreamOfU · 6 pointsr/Broadway

Secret Life of the American Musical

I read this one recently and learned a great deal. It breaks down the format of a show ("I Want" song, 11 o'clock number, etc) and looks at how shows have used or exploded that format. He talked a lot about Gypsy and Guys & Dolls, for instance, two shows I knew nothing about. It was a quick and entertaining read.

u/cable387 · 5 pointsr/musicals

Get him the Grimmerie. I love Wicked, and when I got this for my birthday 7 years ago, i practically peed myself. It's only $27 on amazon.

u/faderjockey · 5 pointsr/livesound

Pretty common, actually, as a method of getting a new show under your fingers.

That's the method described in Shannon Slaton's Mixing a Broadway Musical.

u/notacrook · 5 pointsr/lightingdesign

Color theory wise: Light Fantastic by Max Keller. The book is also gorgeous.

u/codeledger · 4 pointsr/hamiltonmusical
u/IHateTypingInBoxes · 3 pointsr/livesound

Shannon Slaton's book is a great resource for this.

u/teacherdrama · 3 pointsr/Theatre

There are several great books out there. There's an outdated book from about ten years ago that catalogs just about every cast recording and gives them ratings (it only goes up to about 2004, but it's fantastic for everything before that).

Also, The Secret Life of the American Musical is an AMAZING guide to the structures of musical, and comes with recommendations for shows at the back.

u/blacklightbrix · 3 pointsr/rupaulsdragrace

Where is the shop? I see they are available online here

u/dblue236 · 3 pointsr/Wishlist

I have two favorites... my mom gave me a copy of Hamilton: The Revolution and my friends gave me this convention exclusive Snoopy Funko.

Merry Christmas!

u/randoturbo33 · 3 pointsr/techtheatre

Check out Shannon Slaton's book Mixing a Musical: Broadway Theatrical Sound Techniques. It's a great in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of theatrical sound. Obviously you're a long way off from doing this level of show, but this should give you a good idea of how much more there is to it besides just mixing the mics.

Otherwise, there's some good advice here already. Experience and networking is the name of the game in Broadway audio, even more so than other departments. Every sound person I know doing Broadway/First Nationals was plucked up by a designer early in their career, often at well-known summerstocks or major off-Broadway theatres, and when that designer needed new people to go on tour or go to Chicago for an out-of-town tryout or whatever, they got the call.

As for what to do - just start doing shows. If you have a local roadhouse near you, see if you can get on the overhire list for the IA and get paid to load in some tours. Volunteer to mix your friend's band, work on the school musical, work on other school's musicals, whatever you can get your hands on. If you're so inclined to go to college, pick a good one that specializes in what you want to do and has a solid alumni network who are working successfully in the field, but also hopefully one that won't leave you in debt for 20 years. Use those college connections to get solid summerstock work in college, then move to the regional/off-Broadway world when you graduate. Move up the ladder at a larger theatre, meet a well-known designer, start building some of his shows, maybe get sent out on a smaller tour, work your way up to heading, get called home to sub on one of his Broadway shows, finally get your own show, make sure it's a huge hit, mix it for 30 years, then retire and move to Florida. Any questions? :)

u/bignoid · 3 pointsr/arcticmonkeys

Sondheim, maybe the greatest living lyricist, always has a dictionary, thesaurus, and rhyming dictionary when he writes.

And he's written books on his process

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/audioengineering

For theater specifics, I'd recommend this book.

u/EpicDerp37272 · 2 pointsr/hamiltonmusical
u/luhbreton · 2 pointsr/rupaulsdragrace
u/tpounds0 · 2 pointsr/playwriting

I would suggest reading Sondheim's books.

Finishing the Hat, and Look, I Made a Hat

And Everything Was Possible

Both are gonna give you very indepth details in the making of a musical, though specific to Sondheim.

From what I remember, the Lyricist and the Bookwriter went over the outline together. Then the bookwriter would start writing the play and send scenes as they were done. The lyricist/Score writers would then use those scenes as inspiration for songs.

u/PullTheOtherOne · 2 pointsr/composer

This book is my favorite, because it really focuses on the practical nuts and bolts.

There's a great book by Lehman Engel -- one of the gurus of musical theater writing (his workshop in NYC spawned some of the great musicals). But I think his book is more about the lyrics and/or the libretto.

There are also books by Tom Jones, Aaron Frankel, and David Spencer which I don't have time to link to at the moment, but they all have titles similar to "writing musical theater." Most of these books cover a lot of factors and don't focus particularly on the music--definitely not from a theory perspective.

Your best bet may be to get some songwriting books which focus on music theory, and then adapt your songwriting skills to the principles you find in the musical theater writing books.

u/UKYPayne · 2 pointsr/livesound

See if you can get your hands on "Mixing a Musical" the book.

It's a bit overkill for some of your stuff, but it is all there.

u/FireFingers1992 · 2 pointsr/techtheatre

Hi there,

I work as a Sound No. 1 (essentially British equivalent of an A1).

Build up all the skills you can. Volunteer for theatre stuff, but also try and run sound for friend's bands, it is all good experience in training your ears.

I went to university and studied Music Technology, but certainly not the only path. Getting in at the bottom at a theatre and working up still works. In the UK several drama schools do sound specfic degrees like Central and Rose Bruford so I assume similar courses must exist in the states (or if finances allow you could come and study over here).

There are tons of great books to read. This one is particularly good.

Finally, see a lot of theatre. And really listen to it. Talk to the A1 on it if you can, get their email etc, and ask every question about the how and why they operated the show the way they did.

Another bit of advice, pretty much no one starts as an A1. You start as an A2, running radio mics, fitting them to cast etc. Get good at the shit as that part of industry is easier to break into. Loads of good advice on mic stuff on the Masque Sound blog

Final bit of advice, don't worry if you suck at first, or don't really know what you are doing. Keep trying and making mistakes but learning from them and you'll become better and better at it all.

Feel free to shoot me any question on here.

See you on Broadway in ten years!

u/Peralton · 2 pointsr/cosplay

Upvotes always for people willing to paint their faces and bodies for cosplay! Looks great.

Fun tidbit, the makeup designer for Wicked wanted Elphaba's makeup to be 'beautiful', but also green. THere was a conscious effort to not make her 'wicked' in appearance.

If you're a fan of the stage show and/or books, check out the Wicked: The Grimmerie. It's really great.

u/TuckerD · 2 pointsr/lightingdesign

Books I recommend / see commonly recommended.

    • -
      Show Networks and Control Systems

      This is a great book all about how modern lighting networks work using sACN and other protocols. John Huntington is a great speaker if you ever get a chance to see him speak. He should be doing a session or two as USITT this year. He is also a professor at CUNY and has a great program there.
    • *
      Electricity for the Entertainment Electrician & Technician

      Another great book by another great speaker. I got to see a panel with Richard Cadena a few years ago at USITT. I was very impressed with how he spoke about stage lighting and some of the practical experiments that he has done and shared with us. I haven't read this book, but I've heard great things about it. A big topic of conversation at that panel was inrush current, and he gave some really great and easy to understand answers. I suspect that his book is more of the same.
    • -
      Designing with Light

      A classic. Very very well respected book. It will probably be the text book for your first lighting class in college, if you choose to study lighting in college.
    • -
      A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting

      I see this book recommended most often. It's another great book. The title holds true, it is a very practical guide to stage lighting. How to do paperwork. How to write a contract. How to talk to people. Some nuggets of lighting knowledge. I didn't really get as much out of it though, as I am not trying to become a professional lighting designer.
u/chapstick1 · 2 pointsr/wedding

I've read some posts about shopping for each girl like it was her birthday and get something unique to them. So i'm planning on doing little personality/likes/hobby maps of my bridesmaids and trying to find something they would really like. Here are my first two ideas:

Bridesmaid one: Loves broadway, singing, disney, jewish cooking.

u/Hertz_so_good · 2 pointsr/techtheatre

This page has some interesting reading for theatre soecific audio. Also check out Mixing a musical.

u/ME24601 · 2 pointsr/Broadway

I'm going to recommend picking up the Hamiltome, which provides anotated versions of the lyrics, which manage to be informative (Pointing out historical inacuracies and the dramaturgical reasons why LMM chose to make that change) or just fun little gags ('When you're gone, I'll go mad"^1 1)He did.) about the lyrics.

u/mikefraietta · 2 pointsr/hamiltonmusical

What's helped me is Hamilton the Podcast and LMM's book Hamilton the Revolution (which I now am seeing that I paid a lot more for at my local bookstore than it is on Amazon. Trying here!)

u/kmccoy · 2 pointsr/livesound

"Mixing" is routinely used in the theatrical world for what the person operating the sound board does. Shannon Slaton used it in the title of his book about it.

u/s_lerner · 2 pointsr/Broadway

This is presumably the book in question. Do keep in mind that we had to submit the article about the sound long before we actually went into production, so there are some outdated things, including an image from a piece of software that was not ultimately used in the show, but so it goes.

As you might have guessed, I was a member of team sound for this production and still hold it very close to my heart. It’s funny that you say that we were the first in aspects of sound, as even the equipment manufacturer told us their gear wouldn’t do what we wanted it to do... crazy ride.

In terms of mic placement for that production, it was definitely a conscious choice to use boom mics. Part of this was practical since the performers spend all of the show in front of some aspect of the sound system their voices are coming from and this helps increase our ability to have higher volume before feedback occurs, but part of this also came from the director. You will notice that Rachel’s current production (Hadestown... not sure people have heard of it) also has all actors in boom mics. I was told that this is because she does not want to pretend that the equipment/technology does not exist, which I totally get. This gets into the complicated question of which parts of the theater experience can we as the audience pretend don’t exist and which take us out of the action, which is a very personal thing. As a sound person, I am severely biased and don’t think we should apologize any more for the mics we need to get the show’s appropriate sound than the Lighting Designer should apologize for the lights on trusses all over the space which make the show look beautiful.

u/trullette · 2 pointsr/Broadway

I would highly recommend getting the book for next to normal. There are some dialog pieces missing from the soundtrack that are in the book and add details that clarify some things. What you need to know? Your world is about to be shattered. :)

DEH is very moving IMHO. If you were ever the kid who got picked on in school, or didn't really know if a place for you existed in the world, it will hit home.


u/thewonderwaffle · 1 pointr/techtheatre

I found this book has a good chapter on mixing scripts.

u/Warlach · 1 pointr/Screenwriting

I've been eyeing this off for some time because it looks amazing, maybe this is the right occasion to say "fuck it" and reward myself :)

That said, a dance off could work too.

u/discovering_NYC · 1 pointr/nycHistory

A friend of mine recommended this book for me a few months back, and I found it to be incredibly informative and entertaining: Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way by Stewart F. Lane. It has a lot of fascinating information and includes a lot of really cool pictures.

Other recommendations I have (which are great for anyone who wants to learn more about the Theater history in New York City) include: Lost Broadway Theaters by Nicholas van Hoogstraten, Music in German Immigrant Theater: New York City, 1840-1940 by John Koegel, It Happened on Broadway: An Oral History of the Great White Way by Myrna Katz Frommer, and Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway by Michael Riedel.

I hope some of those recommendations pique your interest. I’m curious, what books would you recommend?

u/dfunction · 1 pointr/lightingdesign

Light Fantastic by Max Keller.

Light Fantastic: The Art and Design of Stage Lighting

u/G8r · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Whether or not you find a replacement umbrella, get your mum a copy of Wicked: The Grimmerie. Write something wonderful and heartfelt inside the cover. She'll adore it.

Regardless, I can guarantee you that your mum will not spend these precious days with you angry over a lost umbrella, or even giving it one precious moment's thought.

u/FatGuyinnaLittleCoat · 1 pointr/Broadway
u/shawnwrites · 1 pointr/movies

I did know about the songs. I'm a big Sondheim fan, I bought both his books, which if you haven't... they are a MUST READ. and

Thanks for the offer, Grux. It's published already and Nerdist moves quick so it's actually not easy to edit a story (I go through an editor who posts and edits).

u/ShainaEG · 1 pointr/hamiltonmusical

There are annotations for all of the songs on genius.

He also has notes about all of the songs in the book he wrote Hamilton: The Revolution

u/upislouder · 1 pointr/livesound

You've got the right idea.

Learn DCA/VCA first, that will be biggest improvement.

Then get into scenes after you understand that. Don't do too much in scenes at first, just mutes and VCA assignment.

And read this:

u/notevenjustodd · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

I'm looking forward to my birthday (May 22nd) just because I'm asking for the Hamiltome as a present, and I'm really excited to get it.

I'm also looking forward to the new seasons of America's Got Talent and Project Runway this summer.

Oh, and I'm really looking forward to the Tony Awards, and hoping that Hamilton wins most of them, since they definitely deserve it! (And I can't wait to see what James Corden is like as the host, too.)

u/catlessplantlady · 1 pointr/Gifts

How about: