Book Reviews: The Playbill Broadway Yearbook and At this Theatre

The invaluable Applause Theatre and Cinema Books has just released two new indispensable releases for theater lovers.


The Playbill Broadway Yearbook, now in its sixth edition, provides a comprehensive summary of the 2009-2010 Broadway season. Edited by Robert Viagas, the handsomely bound tome provides extensive documentation of the nearly 75 shows that opened or continued to run from June 2009 to May 2010, augmenting its voluminous production details and copious photographs with engaging backstage “scrapbooks” detailing everything from “most memorable ad-lib” to “busiest day at the box-office. Included are sections devoted to special events and awards and a memoriam to theater notables who passed away, as well as the amusing, high school yearbook-style faculty photo spreads devoted to important theatrical groups.


Also receiving updated and expanded treatment is Louis Botto and Robert Viagas’ gorgeously illustrated “At This Theatre,” previously issued in 1984 and 2002. Detailing the histories of Broadway’s 40 current operating theaters—from the New Amsterdam, built in 1903, to the newest, now known as the Foxwoods, opened in 1998--and featuring a wealth of backstage anecdotes and archival photos, it’s a fascinating expansion of the popular feature of the same name that you’ll find in your Broadway Playbill. This edition also features a new forward written by actor/singer Cheyenne Jackson.  


The Broadway Playbill Yearbook (Applause Theater and Cinema Books, $35.00)

At This Theatre (Applause Theater and Cinema Books, $38.99)