The Playbill Broadway Yearbook: Inaugural Edition June 1, 2004–May 31, 2005

Robert Viagas, Author, Amy Asch, Editor, Aubrey Reuben, Photographer . Playbill Books $29.95 (422p) ISBN 978-1-55783-682-3

Playbill publisher Philip Birsh decided he would create "a yearbook, like a high school yearbook," which would include photos of every person working on a Broadway show in a given year. So Viagas, one of the magazine's editors, reprinted the head shots and text from the official Playbill s of each production, from Aida to Wonderful Town , and arranged group shots of performers, directors, box-office staff and ushers. In addition, pictures of the staff for producers' offices, press agents, union leaders and even personnel from nationwide Playbill publications are included in a section called "Faculty." Like high school shots, most photos show people standing in a line and smiling awkwardly for the camera. In an attempt to add some spice to the project, a member of each production answered questions, such as the casts' favorite snack food or the most memorable celebrity visits, which appear in the "Scrapbook" section. None of the answers, however, lend insight or helpful information; mostly, they're of the "you had to be there" variety. As with high school yearbooks, this will be a source of nostalgic reminiscence for the participants, but of minimal use for historians or theater buffs. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/24/2005
Release date: 08/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 516 pages - 978-1-55783-732-5
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