Thursday, December 11, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Blue-Collar Broadway: Reading (with related songs) & Book Signing (FREE)
Timothy R. White will read from Blue-Collar Broadway: The Craft and Industry of American Theater, and will introduce performers who will sing relevant Broadway songs. Guests with a Drama Book Shop receipt for Blue-Collar Broadway will receive priority seating. This will be followed by a Q&A (7-7:15) and Book Signing (7:15-8).
Join author Timothy R. White and a small group of trained music theatre performers for a journey into the world of Blue-Collar Broadway. This reading and song cycle combination is dedicated to the backstage craftwork of costumers, scenery builders, lighting riggers, and countless other theatrical professionals. It is designed to change the way you think about the history of Times Square. Through songs and excerpts from the book, you will be transported back to decades when theatrical craftwork and theater-related businesses were a dominant economic presence. Your journey will continue into post-WWII decades, when crime and adult entertainment proliferated, and when Broadway craftwork dispersed nationally, even globally. After the reading and song cycle, there will be a Q&A with the author, followed by complimentary wine and cheese and a book signing.
About the Author: After more than a decade living and teaching in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Professor White now teaches urban history at New Jersey City University. He has a passion for the construction and craft history of Broadway, but also has research interests in the economics of Broadway flops, and the regional economic impact of Jersey City railroads. He joined the faculty of NJCU in the fall of 2009, after completing a joint postdoctoral fellowship at the New School and New-York Historical Society, and a one-year Visiting Assistant Professor position at Yeshiva University. He has a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.
About the Book: Behind the scenes of New York City's Great White Way, virtuosos of stagecraft have built the scenery, costumes, lights, and other components of theatrical productions for more than a hundred years. But like a good magician who refuses to reveal secrets, they have left few clues about their work. Blue-Collar Broadway recovers the history of those people and the neighborhood in which their undersung labor occurred. Featuring case studies of iconic productions such as Oklahoma! (1943) and Evita (1979), and an exploration of the craftwork of radio, television, and film production around Times Square, Blue-Collar Broadway tells a rich story of the history of craft and industry in American theater nationwide. In addition, White examines the role of theater in urban deindustrialization and in the revival of downtowns throughout the Sunbelt.