8 Theatre Books to Read This Winter | Playbill

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Book News 8 Theatre Books to Read This Winter

There’s plenty to cozy up with this season, including The Phantom of the Opera graphic novel, a Lorraine Hansberry biography, and more.

[This article was originally published in December 2021, it has since been updated with new titles.] 

As the holiday season reaches its climax but daylight remains in short supply, the reading season kicks into high gear. Thankfully, there are plenty of new books for theatre fans to check out while getting cozy by the fireplace (the real kind or streaming on Netflix).

This winter, there are biographies on Lorraine Hansberry, a graphic novel adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, a book of Broadway-themed cocktails, and memoirs by Megan Fairchild and Harvey Fierstein.

Check out the full list below. Looking for more ideas? Check out these 19 books that came out last fall.

The Ballerina Mindset: How to Protect Your Mental Health While Striving for Excellence
By Megan Fairchild
The New York City Ballet principal dancer shares how to thrive in intense and competitive environments in this new memoir. In it, she shares all the wisdom she's learned from her nearly two-decade career, drawing upon her own experiences to show us how she learned to overcome challenges ranging from stage fright to negative feedback to a packed calendar to weight management—and how other dancers can do the same. Available now from Penguin Life.

Booze Over Broadway: 50 Cocktails for Theatre Lovers
By Michael Groff
This recipe book features the perfect combination of show tunes and drinks for your next party. Featuring 50 cocktails, fans can make delicious cocktails right from the comfort of their home thanks to the book’s commentary, step-by-step instructions, and illustrations throughout. Recipes include “Hello, Daiquiri!”, “The Best Little Whiskey Sour in Texas,” “Don’t Cry for Me, Appletini, “Bloody, Bloody, Mary Jackson,” “Once on this (Long) Island Iced Tea,” “Brandy Alexander Hamilton,” and “If I Were a Rich Man(hattan).” Available now from Tiller Press.

The Phantom of the Opera Graphic Novel by Cavan Scott and José María Beroy

The Phantom of the Opera
By Cavan Scott, with artwork by José María Beroy
The famous story is going from stage to page in this new graphic novel adaptation. Based directly on the Broadway's longest running musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Charles Hart, and a book by Webber and Richard Stilgoe, the fully authorized graphic novel translates the gothic tale of the Paris Opera House Phantom and the object of his desire, soprano Christine Daaé into a 113-page full color comic. Available now, from Titan Comics.

READ: Get a 1st Look at the Chandelier Falling in The Phantom of the Opera Graphic Novel

Lorraine Hansberry: The Life Behind A Raisin in the Sun
By Charles J. Shields
A new biography about the playwright paints a picture of the artist using unpublished interviews with figures in theatre and politics, private correspondence, and independent research. Shields’ work will explore, beyond her career as a playwright, the influence of her upper-class background, her fight for peace and nuclear disarmament, the reason why she embraced Communism during the Cold War, her marriage to and professional partnership with Robert B. Nemiroff, and more. Available January 18 from Henry Holt & Co.

If You Survived 7th Grade, You Can Be an Actor: Applying the Meisner Technique to Get Outta Your Head in Acting and in Life

By Matthew Corozine
Corozine offers a practical acting technique and exercises developed during his more than two decades of teaching and coaching acting at MCS Theatre. The work inside these pages helps free actors from self-limiting beliefs and emotional blocks through various exercises and activities, and real-life examples. Available January 20 from MCS Publishing. 

I Was Better Last Night
By Harvey Fierstein
In this memoir, the Tony winner reveals personal tales of struggles, romance, and his career from his roots in Brooklyn, New York, to his work with the Theatre of the Ridiculous, to the gay rights movement and AIDS crisis and his stardom on Broadway. Feinstein’s candid recollections provide a window into NYC life, queer culture, and the evolution of theatre. Available March 1 from Knopf.

Fearlessly Different: An Autistic Actor's Journey to Broadway's Biggest Stage
By Mickey Rowe
This is the story of growing up autistic and pushing beyond the restrictions of a special education classroom to shine on the stage. Rowe became the first autistic actor to play the lead role in the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and founded the National Disability Theatre, among other achievements. The performer faced untold obstacles along the way, but this tale ends in triumph. Available March 15 from Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Jagged Little Pill: The Novel
By Eric Smith with Alanis Morissette, Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard
Adapted from the Tony-nominated jukebox musical, this original story follows The Healys, an American family who strives to hide the cracks beneath the surface when a troubling event shakes their community. Available April 26 from Abrams Books.

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