Blog Archives

Congratulations to Stephen Jones!

Applause Books wants to congratulate Stephen Jones for winning an Award for his book The Art of Horror An Illustrated History! Stephen Jones was one of many authors present at the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Awards ceremony in Las Vegas, which took place this past weekend. He won the prize for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction! To watch the event, and Stephen Jones’ acceptance speech click on the link below!

>>Watch Here<<

A list of all winners and nominees can be found here


00141141Amazingly, there has never been a book quite like The Art of Horror An Illustrated History: a celebration of fearful images, compiled and presented by some of the genre’s most respected names. While acknowledging the beginnings of horror-related art in legends and folk tales, the focus of the book is on how the genre has presented itself to the world since the creations of Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley.

The stunning illustrations featured in The Art of Horror will captivate you right from the start. With chapters like, The Blood Is The Life, Man-Made Monsters, and Giant Behemoths, Editor Stephen Jones showcases an unprecedented collection of some 400 of the finest examples of horror-related art. Each chapter begins with an overview of the featured area of the genre, and also contains two special features on specific topics (e.g. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or the paintings of Clive Barker). These 10 chapters also showcases quotes from artists/illustrators, and a selection from writers and filmmakers, are featured throughout.

Jones and his stellar team of contributors have sourced visuals from archives and private collections (including their own!) worldwide, ensuring an unprecedented selection that is accessible to those discovering the genre. They also include many images that will be rare and unfamiliar to even the most committed fan. From early engravings, via dust jackets, book illustrations, pulp magazines, movie posters, comic books and paintings, to today’s artists working entirely in the digital realm. It’s all here, from the shockingly lurid to the hauntingly beautiful.

I Wanna Be a Producer giveaway!

The Producer’s Perspective, a blog featuring a Broadway producer’s opinion on everything Broadway and beyond, is having a giveaway! The lucky book that is featured is John Breglio’s, I Wanna Be a Producer! The giveaway ends May 14 so be sure to enter below before time runs out. Best of luck!

>>Enter Here<<

IWannaBeCOVERWhat does a “producer” actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway? John Breglio cannot guarantee you a hit, but he does take the reader on a fascinating journey behind-the-scenes to where he himself once stood as a child, dreaming about the theatre.

Part memoir, part handbook, I Wanna Be a Producer is a road map to the hows and wherefores, the dos and don’ts of producing a Broadway play, written by a Broadway veteran with more than 40 years of experience. This comprehensive and highly informative book features practical analysis and concepts for the producer – and is filled with entertaining anecdotes from Breglio’s illustrious career as a leading theatrical lawyer and producer. Breglio recounts not only his first-hand knowledge of the crucial legal and business issues faced by a producer, but also his experiences behind the scenes with literally hundreds of producers, playwrights, composers, and directors, including such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Joe Papp, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patti Lupone, August Wilson, and Mel Brooks. Whether you are a working or aspiring producer, an investor, or are just curious about the backstage reality of the theater, Breglio shares his knowledge and experience of the industry, conveying practical information set against the real-life stories of those who have devoted their lives to the craft.

John Breglio visits Bloomberg Radio!

John Breglio, author of I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway…or Get Killed, spoke with Kathleen Hays and Pimm Fox hosts of Taking Stock on Bloomberg Radio. Listen to the podcast below as they talk about John Breglio’s life in theater and before, Patti LuPone, and opening nights!

>>Listen<<

IWannaBeCOVERWhat does a “producer” actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway? John Breglio cannot guarantee you a hit, but he does take the reader on a fascinating journey behind-the-scenes to where he himself once stood as a child, dreaming about the theatre.

Part memoir, part handbook, I Wanna Be a Producer is a road map to the hows and wherefores, the dos and don’ts of producing a Broadway play, written by a Broadway veteran with more than 40 years of experience. This comprehensive and highly informative book features practical analysis and concepts for the producer – and is filled with entertaining anecdotes from Breglio’s illustrious career as a leading theatrical lawyer and producer. Breglio recounts not only his first-hand knowledge of the crucial legal and business issues faced by a producer, but also his experiences behind the scenes with literally hundreds of producers, playwrights, composers, and directors, including such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Joe Papp, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patti Lupone, August Wilson, and Mel Brooks. Whether you are a working or aspiring producer, an investor, or are just curious about the backstage reality of the theater, Breglio shares his knowledge and experience of the industry, conveying practical information set against the real-life stories of those who have devoted their lives to the craft.

Your chance to win MASH FAQ!

Another contest courtesy of Erie Gay News and Applause Books has begun! You could be the lucky winner of Dale Sherman’s book, MASH FAQ Everything Left to Know About the Best Care Anywhere. The contest runs from April 26 through May 17 so be quick and enter before time runs out! Click on the link below to enter the contest and learn more about it.

>>Enter Here<<

00122480Here’s the lowdown on the unforgettable show about the Forgotten War. M*A*S*H began as a novel written by a surgeon who had been in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War. After being rejected multiple times, the novel would go on to become a bestseller, leading to 14 sequels, an Oscar-winning movie that propelled its director and actors to stardom, and a multiple-Emmy-winning television series that lasted nearly four times the length of the war.

MASH FAQ looks at how the novel came to be, its follow-ups in literary form, the creation of the popular movie, and – most importantly – the television series that transformed comedy and television in the 1970s. Included are chapters on the top-20 pranks of M*A*S*H, the cast members’ careers before and after the television show, famous guest appearances, and movies shown in the mess hall.

Beyond the fiction, MASH FAQ also features a brief chapter to put the war into perspective for easy referral – and looks at what led to the Korean War, how such medical units functioned, and how M*A*S*H shaped our perception of the era.

Review: I Wanna Be a Producer

The newly released book, I Wanna Be a Producer, written by John Breglio has received a rave review from Center On The Aisle or COTA for short. COTA is all about providing current and future fans of the theater with accessible information about shows, be it on-Broadway, off-Broadway or out of town. Here is what COTA writer Adam Cohen had to say about the book.


IWannaBeCOVERSo, it’s the mid-1980s and you’re in the balcony of the Shubert Theatre taking in A Chorus Line with your mother, after waiting on the TKTS line in Duffy Square, wondering “how did they do that?” The lights, costumes, and performers in perfect synchronicity entertaining over a thousand people per performance eight times a week. Then the thought strikes, how do you become a producer and make tons of money (a rarity, sadly in theater), go to fabulous parties, and have opening night seats?  John Breglio answers much of this in his new book, I Wanna Be A Producer – How to Make a Killing On Broadway… Or Get Killed.

The book is a quasi-memoir of his years serving as an entertainment lawyer with clients like Michael Bennett (director, A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls) and Allan Carr (La Cage Aux Folles). Breglio sprinkles in real-life anecdotes, which detail the creation of these seminal Broadway productions, along with some not so distinctive ones, while also covering the details of how to become a producer. It is literally the book to get if you want to invest or create a first class production. Having served several decades as the lead partner at Paul | Weiss, Breglio clearly knows his stuff.  He details every aspect of creating a theatrical production from securing rights, royalties, agreements, sourcing investments, production staff, and even the opening night party.

This is a detailed, specific book that should be the handbook for anyone considering a production career in the theater. He nicely and satisfyingly opens the book with his own experience as a boy seeing Damn Yankees and transitions to the creation of La Cage Aux Folles. The balance between anecdotes serves as a means of providing real practical history to emphasize the importance of each step in becoming a producer.

It leavens the hard truths and multitude of steps necessary to protect each party involved in the creative process – especially the one funding it.


Read the full review HERE.

 

John Breglio Talks Producing with Backstage

Next Tuesday, John Breglio shares the dos and don’ts and the hows and wherefores of being a Broadway producer in his news release from Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, I Wanna Be a Producer. Breglio’s production credits include the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line and the 2008 prodcution of Dreamgirls at the Apollo Theater and in this interview with Backstage magazine, he shares some of his lessons learned.


IWannaBeCOVERJohn Breglio went from entertainment lawyer to successful Broadway producer. Now he’s sharing advice gleaned from a decades-long career in theater in his new book, “I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway… or Get Killed.”

Why did you want to write this book?
I decided it might be helpful to put instructions on how to produce a play from the idea to opening night in one place. I also give real, live stories of what I went through with my clients, everything from getting the rights to marketing and advertising to getting the show up and running.

Why make the switch to producer from entertainment lawyer?
I was a shadow producer. I woke up one day and thought, I could do this myself. I’m closely associated with “A Chorus Line.” Michael Bennett was a very good friend of mine. When I was producing the revival, I noticed there was a line where Cassie says, “I’m tired of teaching others what I should be doing myself.” I heard that line and said, “You know what? That’s how I feel.”


Read the rest of the interview at backstage.com!

Stephen Tropiano on Pop Culture Tonight!

Stephen Tropiano, author of The Prime Time Closet: A History of Gays and Lesbians on TV, spoke with Patrick Phillips host of Pop Culture Tonight. They talked about the book, the impact that shows like Will & Grace and Ellen have had on today’s society in general and the LGBTQ+ community in particular. Listen to the podcast below to learn more!

>>Listen<<

00314533Television history was made on April 30, 1997, when comedian Ellen DeGeneres and her sitcom alter-ego Ellen Morgan, “came out” to her close friends and 36 million viewers. This groundbreaking episode represented a significant milestone in American television. For the first time, a TV series centered around a lesbian character who was portrayed by an openly gay actor. The millions of viewers who tuned in that historic night were witnesses to a new era in television. THE PRIME TIME CLOSET offers an entertaining and in-depth glimpse into homosexuality on television from the 1950s through today. Divided into four sections, each devoted to a major television genre, this unique book explores how gay men and lesbians have been depicted in over three hundred television episodes and made-for-TV films. These include medical series, police/detective shows, situation comedies and TV dramas. THE PRIME TIME CLOSET also reveals how television’s treatment of homosexuality has reflected and reinforced society’s ignorance about and fear of gay men and lesbians. At the same time, it celebrates programs like Ellen and Will & Grace that have broken new ground in their sensitive and enlightened approach to homosexuality and gay-related themes. This book is witty and insightful, accessible and illuminating, a look into what has become an integral part of American media culture.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Tells Us Some of His Favorite Books!

Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton”, was asked by by The New York Times about his favorite books, and we at Applause Books are honored that he included  Everything Was Possible, by Ted Chapin. Read the article below to learn more!


The star and creator of the musical “Hamilton” says “Things Fall Apart” was his favorite book to teach at Hunter College High School: “The kids walk out of the classroom as different people.”

What books are currently on your night stand?

“The Wayfinders,” by Wade Davis; “Between Riverside and Crazy,” by Stephen Adly Guirgis; and “Unabrow,” by Una LaMarche.

What’s the last great book you read?

The last great book I read was catching up on “Saga,” the graphic novel series. An incredible world in which to get lost.

Which writers — novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets — working today do you admire most?

Too many to list, really, not that I won’t try: Junot Díaz, Liz Gilbert, Patrick Rothfuss, Wesley Morris, Michael Chabon, Martín Espada, Sarah Kay. . . . I mean, I better quit while I’m ahead.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?

I’m a biography buff. My favorite book growing up was “Chuck Amuck,” by Chuck Jones. I think I bought it as a kid because of the included flip-book: flip the pages, and Wile E. Coyote chases the Road Runner down the margins of the page. But it’s also one of the most beautiful books about the creative process I’ve ever read. Grabbing Chernow’s Hamilton bio rather famously changed my life, but I’ve also gotten lost in the works of Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Caro. Agassi’s astounding autobiography and David Foster Wallace’s Federer essay turned me into an avid tennis fan. Once I’ve spent some time in someone else’s life, it’s hard to shake.

What moves you most in a work of literature?

I’m most in awe of novelists, who move sets, lights, scenery, and act out all the parts in your mind for you. My kind of writing requires collaboration with others to truly ignite. But I think of Dickens, or Cervantes, or Márquez, or Morrison, and I can describe to you the worlds they paint and inhabit. To engender empathy and create a world using only words is the closest thing we have to magic.

Everything Was PossibleWhat are the best books ever written about the theater? Do you have a personal favorite?

“Act One,” by Moss Hart. “Everything Was Possible,” by Ted Chapin. The “Rent” book. Patti LuPone’s autobiography — bring popcorn for that last one. Also, the Maya Angelou autobio that chronicles her touring with “Porgy & Bess” — I haven’t read it since high school, but her evocation of that experience has stayed with me.


Read the rest of the article HERE.

Dave Thompson on Lincoln Live!

Dave Thompson, author of The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ,spoke with Dale Johnson of Lincoln Live. They spoke about the writer of the play Richard O’Brien, what drew Dave Thompson to writing the book, and more! Listen to what they had to say in the podcast below!

>>LISTEN<<

00139671When assessing the cultural impact of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, author Dave Thompson does not pull his punches: “Forty-plus years on from its debut in a tiny London theater; four decades, too, from its transition to the silver screen, Rocky Horror stands among the 1970s’ most lasting, and successful, contributions to modern culture.”

Thompson’s latest contribution to the Applause Books FAQ series, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ (April 2016, Applause Books, $19.99) is the in-depth story of not only the legendary stage show and movie, but of a unique period in theatrical history, in both the movie’s UK homeland and overseas.

Inside these pages, we see Rocky Horror as sexual cabaret and political subversion, as modern mega-hit and Broadway disaster. At the movie house, we learn when to shout, what to throw, and why people even do those things. Here is the full story of the play’s original creation; its forebears and its influences are laid out in loving detail, together with both the triumphs and tragedies that attended it across the next 40 years.

Packed with anecdotes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ is the story of dozens of worldwide performances and the myriad stars who have been featured in them. From Tim Curry to Anthony Head, from Reg Livermore to Gary Glitter, from Daniel Abineri to Tom Hewitt, the lives and careers of the greatest ever Frank N. Furters stalk the pages, joined by the Riff-Raffs, Magentas, Columbias, and all the rest.

The book also includes the largest and most in-depth Rocky Horror discography ever published, plus a unique timeline – The Ultimate Rocky Horror Chronology – detailing the who, what, where, and when of absolute pleasure.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ will have you doing the Time Warp again!

Michael White, Rocky Horror Producer, Dies at 80

Michael White, who produced the first stage version on The Rocky Horror Show, has passed away at age 80. Dave Thompson discusses White’s vital contributions to show and, indirectly, to the movie that followed in The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ. Below is an excerpt.


00139671Born in Glasgow, educated at the Sorbonne, and a Wall Street runner in the New York of the 1950s, Michael White entered the world of theater following his return to the UK in the late 1950s. Pursuing a long-held interest in theater, he became assistant to Sir Peter Lauderdale Daubeny, as he launched the renowned World Theatre Season at the Aldwych Theatre in London (home to the Royal Shakespeare Company), with the cosmopolitan goal of introducing British audiences to new plays from around the world.
In 1962, White made his own debut as a West End producer, overseeing Jack Gelber’s The Connection; since that time, he had handled works as disparate as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1966); the long-running Sleuth (1969); and, most notoriously, Hair, Oh! Calcutta! and The Dirtiest Show in Town.
He was instrumental, in 1967, in plans to bring Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground to London, for a week long engagement at the Chalk Farm Roundhouse, beginning May 21, 1967—a significant venture in that it would have marked the first and only time the original incarnation of that so legendary band, featuring Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico, made it to European shores. Sadly, events conspired to stymie the shows, among them White’s own schedule calling him to New York, at precisely the time Warhol would be in London, to oversee the launch of his production of Joe Orton’s Loot.
White was introduced to The Rocky Horror Show by Nicholas Wright. He detailed that phone call in the booklet accompanying the show’s fifteenth anniversary CD box set.
“I received a phone call from [Wright], who said they were doing a new musical in the Theatre Upstairs and were looking for a producer to put up £3,000 towards the cost of production, in return for the West End rights.” And later, in his autobiography, he described it as a career high point he never tired of.
“Many of my productions I have admired objectively, abstractly. I loved every minute of Rocky Horror . . . it is the only show I have ever done that I can watch time and time again—I must have seen it a hundred times. It is snappy; only an hour and twenty minutes; non-stop, no interval. Every three minutes you are being socked with another song or event. Everything about it works. The Rocky Horror Show is critic proof.”
In later years, White would work with some of the greatest comics of the British 1970s and 1980s, both as producer of the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and then as co-creator of The Comic Strip Presents, an early 1980s TV series starring (among others) Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Ade Edmondson and Nigel Planer.
White published his autobiography, Empty Seats, in 1985, and was the subject, in 2013, of Gracie Otto’s documentary The Last Impresario. It was a fine portrait of, and a fitting tribute to, a man who had seemingly dedicated his career to confronting the British theatergoing public with the unusual, the risqué and the controversial.

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