Year 8, Book 89

89. Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater by Eddie Shapiro

This book is a compilation of interviews with twenty leading ladies of Broadway. Shapiro spends an extensive amount of time interviewing each woman and the book is composed of his short observations about their interviews followed by edited transcripts of the interviews. interview subjects include such Broadway luminaries as Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury, Patty Lupone, Chita Rivera, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel, and Sutton Foster among others. If you are into the theatre this is an excellent and fascinating book. Shapiro basically organized the chapters by the age of the actress which gave an interesting continuity to trends in the theatre and the way the actresses think about working on Broadway. Most if not all of the older actresses expressed opinions that young people weren’t dedicated enough to their roles and overwhelmingly decried the personal days Broadway actors now receive. It was also great to hear the women talk about the shows they’ve been in and their experiences behind the scenes as well as their feelings on each other. If you like Broadway theatre I highly recommend this book. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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