Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Broadway Bookshelf: Tony Voter FYC Books

The Broadway Bookshelf:
Tony Voter FYC Books

So, I was dusting off my shelves the other day, and I came across my small, but inevitably growing, collection of For Your Consideration booklets sent out by the P.R. firms who represent shows at Tony Awards time. Over the past couple years at the Broadway Cares flea markets, I've picked them up, and I really love them. Why, you might ask?

Well, it's simply because I love the particular shows. I also get them because they are usually full of reviews and articles from all over the country. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to look up such things. So having them all in one place is great. 

But in two cases, I also picked them up because the producer of those shows, Scott Rudin, is skimpy with production photos. I love production photos. I do not love Scott Rudin. (And for every conceivable reason you are thinking of, too.) And so, because I am a fan of both The Humans and To Kill a Mockingbird, when I saw them, I quickly bought them.

The three I'm sharing my thoughts on today, the aforementioned The Humans, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Fun Home, all really fit the above criteria - great reviews/articles and production stills. And each also includes things unique to their production.

The Fun Home edition features an original Alison Bechdel comic strip that originally appeared in New Yorker magazine. It is a wonderful addition to my Fun Home collection because it offers a rare glimpse into the impact of a dramatization of an author's original work. (Above. Tap to enlarge.)

The Humans
' book, a large, spiral-bound tome, is full of enormous production photos and up close portraits of the characters. In addition to dozens of pull quotes (as one might expect) and reviews, there are a number of full articles that offer commentary on the play as a reflection of the times, particularly during the Trump era.

Finally, the play that has the stingiest supply of production photos, To Kill a Mockingbird, made this $5 purchase worth a few hundred to me. Nearly every page has artistic photos of the show and the characters from unique angles. They are presented in sepia tones and color, captioned with the expected pull quotes, but also with quotes from the original Harper Lee text. Even better, throughout the book are photos 
and brief articles on the era depicted in the play that offer provocative context. (The cover letter that came with the book is to the right. Tap to enlarge.)

In any case, I look forward to adding to this collection. Even more so, I look forward to joining my fellow theater lovers at events like the flea market. I miss all of you.

📸: J. Kyler


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