Theatre Art B.Aronson

Frank L. Rich, Author Alfred A. Knopf $75 (322p) ISBN 978-0-394-52913-4
Most theatergoers don't know that the scenic designer for the Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof got his start in revolutionary Russia's avant-garde. Son of the Grand Rabbi of Kiev, Aronson rejected Russian director Vsevolod Meyerhold's communal theater when he fell under the spell of constructivist set designer Alexandra Exter. Arriving in New York in 1923, Aronson faced the predicament of a cosmopolitan artist confronted with a commercial theater that was in many ways backward. Undaunted, he designed sets for Yiddish theater, then worked for Harold Clurman's Group Theatre on Odets's Awake and Sing. His association with Jerome Robbins and Harold Prince at last gave him a chance to apply Exter's ideas of remaking reality in personal terms by making the set a total environment for the show. Prepared by New York Times theater critic Rich in collaboration with the artist's widow, this spectacular album re-creates several productions, from The Master Builder to Cabaret and Pacific Overtures. (November 16)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Hardcover - 978-0-517-05106-1
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