On Broadway: Art and Commerce on the Great White Way (Hardcover)

On Broadway: Art and Commerce on the Great White Way By Professor Steven Adler Cover Image

On Broadway: Art and Commerce on the Great White Way (Hardcover)


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At a critical, transitional moment in the history of Broadway— and, by extension, of American theatre itself— former Broadway stage manager Steven Adler enlists insider perspectives from sixty-six practitioners and artists to chronicle the recent past and glimpse the near future of the Great White Way. From marquee names to behind-the-scenes power brokers, Adler has assembled a distinctly knowledgeable cast of theatre’ s elite, including Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents, Des McAnuff, Frank Rich, Robin Wagner, Rocco Landesman, Robert Longbottom, Todd Haimes, Bernard Gersten, and Alan Eisenberg.


On Broadway: Art and Commerce on the Great White Way spotlights the differing vantage points of performers, artists, writers, managers, producers, critics, lawyers, theatre owners, union leaders, city planners, and other influential players. Each details his or her firsthand account of the creative and economic forces that have wrought extraordinary changes in the way Broadway theatre is conceived, produced, marketed, and executed. Once the paramount site of American theatre, Broadway today is becoming a tourist-driven, family-friendly, middle-class entertainment oasis in Midtown, an enterprise inextricably bound to the larger mosaic of national and international professional theatre. 


Accounting for this transformation and presaging Broadway’ s identity for the twenty-first century, Adler and his interviewees assess the impact of the advent of corporate producers, the ascendance of not-for-profit theatres on Broadway, and the growing interdependence between regional and Broadway productions. Also critiqued are the important roles of the radical urban redevelopment staged in Times Square and the changing demographics and appetites of contemporary theatre audiences in New York and around the globe. 


Actors and administrators, performers and producers, theatre students and theatregoers will all benefit from the perceptive insights in this authoritative account of theatre making for the new millennium.

Steven Adler is a professor and vice chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California San Diego and the author of Rough Magic: Making Theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has been a stage manager on and off Broadway, as well as for several television productions.  

Product Details ISBN: 9780809325924
Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
Publication Date: November 16th, 2004
Pages: 272
Language: English
“ Comprehensive, substantive, and thoughtful, On Broadway is the best book on producing I’ ve ever read. Adler’ s knowledge of the contemporary theatre scene (not-for-profit and commercial, regional and Broadway) is impressive. Winning interviews with some of the luminaries in this volume would have been admirable; to have had conversations with all of them is exceptional.” — Barbara W. Grossman, chair of the Department of Drama and Dance, Tufts University

On Broadway is well organized and wonderfully readable, providing invaluable personal insights about the Broadway stage. Excellent questions, excellent choice of subjects.” — Saul Elkin, Distinguished Service Professor of Theatre, SUNY Buffalo