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Yes, It Really Was An Extraordinary Time on Broadway


One of the many benefits of living in or near New York City is, of course, Broadway and Off-Broadway.

Those who feel like they’ve lived through an extraordinarily creative and exciting period in theater history will get affirmation in a talk on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. featuring author and theater maven Tom Santopietro and New York Post columnist Michael Riedel.

Sponsored by House of Books and Kent Memorial Library in Kent, Conn., the book talk and “virtual signing” will wrap around Riedel’s new book, “Singular Sensation,” which is according to the press release, “the extraordinary story of a transformative decades on Broadway, featuring gripping behind-the-scenes accounts of shows such as ‘Rent,’ ‘Angels in America,’ ‘Chicago,’ ‘The Lion King’ and ‘The Producers’ — shows that changed the history of the American theater.”

The book travels back to the 1980s and that decade’s version of the British Invasion, with hits such as “Les Miserables,” “Cats” and “The Phantom of the Opera.” 

It then segues into the next decade and the dominance of a diverse selection of American musicals (from “Rent” to “The Producers”) and “the powerful comeback of plays, always an endangered species on Broadway, with Tony Kushner’s ‘Angels in America.’

“A different breed of producers rose up to challenge the grip theater owners had long held on Broadway, and corporations began to see how much money could be made from live theater.”

Riedel gives an appropriately dramatic recounting of the late 1990s into the early 20th century, with traumas such as the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and their impact on theater, the arts and life in America. 

Interviewing him will be Tom Santopietro, who is himself the author of many books on Broadway and the theater, including “Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey” and “Sinatra in Hollywood.” He lectures nationwide on classic films, interviews celebrity authors and has managed more than 30 Broadway shows over the past 25 years.

This event is free and open to the public and is on Zoom. For more information or to order any of the books by Riedel and Santopietro, visit House of Books online at www.houseofbooksct.com.  

To find the free Zoom link for the Wednesday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. conversation about “Singular Sensation,” go to www.kentmemoriallibrary.org.

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