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Book Reviews

James Lapine, Susan Stroman join Beowulf Boritt at The Drama Book Shop on October 11

James Lapine, Susan Stroman join Beowulf Boritt at The Drama Book Shop on October 11

The Drama Book Shop announced today a reading, discussion and signing for Tony Award-winning set designer Beowulf Boritt’s new book, Transforming Space Over Time: Set Design and Visual Storytelling with Broadway’s Legendary Directors. Hosted by Peabody Award-winning broadcaster, director, and designer Elliott Forrest, Boritt will be joined in conversation with two of his collaborators on the book, legendary Tony Award-winning directors James Lapine and Susan Stroman.

The event will take place on Tuesday, October 11 at 7:00pm at The Drama Book Shop (266 West 39th Street). Tickets are $35 and available to purchase at dramabookshop.com, and include entrance to the event and a copy of Transforming Space Over Time. It is recommended that guests wear a mask inside. No merchandise, photos or other souvenirs will be allowed to be signed.

Transforming Space Over Time tells the stories of six diverse productions: five on Broadway and one Off-Broadway. Tony Award–winning set designer Beowulf Boritt begins with the moment he was offered each job and takes readers through the conceptual development of a set, the challenges of its physical creation, and the intense process of readying it for the stage. Theater is at heart a collaborative art form, and Boritt shares revealing details of his work with the many professionals—directors, designers, technicians, producers, stage managers, and actors—who contribute their talent and ideas to each show. Included here are extensive conversations with theater legends James Lapine, Kenny Leon, Hal Prince, Susan Stroman, Jerry Zaks, and Stephen Sondheim, explaining how their different approaches to theater help to shape the vision for a set and best practices for creative collaboration. Boritt also offers valuable insights into the sometimes frustrating but unavoidable realities of the “biz” part of showbiz—budgets, promotion, reviews, and awards.

Full of indispensable advice for aspiring and seasoned professionals, and with plenty of entertaining and enlightening anecdotes to engage passionate theatergoers, Transforming Space Over Time peels back the curtain and illuminates the artistry and craft of professional theatrical production—and particularly the all-important collaboration of designers and directors.

Beowulf Boritt (Author) has enjoyed a 25-year career in the theater and has designed more than 450 shows in New York (among them 25 on Broadway and more than 100 Off-Broadway), across the United States, and internationally. He has been nominated for three Tony Awards and won for his design of James Lapine’s Act One. Boritt was honored with an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Design, among numerous other awards and nominations. His work is currently represented on Broadway with the Tony Award-winning Come From Away, and the upcoming revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, directed by LaTanya Richardson Jackson, starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, and Danielle Brooks. He lives in New York City with his wife, actor Mimi Bilinski, and his dog Natasha Rostov.

Elliott Forrest (Host). Peabody Award winning broadcaster, director, producer, designer, filmmaker. Co-Director and Projection Designer: NY Production with Trinity Wall Street, National Tour and PBS-TV Special of Considering Matthew Shepard by Craig Hella Johnson. Executive Producer, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park on the Radio of Richard II. Co-Creator, Producer, Projection Designer of the National Tours of An Evening With Itzhak Perlman and Michael Feinstein Celebrates Judy Garland. Afternoon host on New York’s Classical Radio Station 105.9FM, WQXR and WQXR.org. Director, award-winning documentary with violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins Face To Face: Forgotten Voices Heard, which premiered at Carnegie Hall. Hosted more the 60 concerts on-stage at Carnegie Hall. For 12 years, Host, A&E Television Breakfast with the Arts. Co-host, The Late, Late Radio Show with Tom Snyder.

James Lapine, has directed and written the book for Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with GeorgeInto the WoodsPassion and the multi-media revue Sondheim on Sondheim. With William Finn he has co-written and directed March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, later presented on Broadway as Falsettos, as well as A New Brain, Muscle, and Little Miss Sunshine. He has written and directed the plays Table SettingsLuck, Pluck and VirtueThe Moment WhenFran’s BedMrs. Miller Does Her Thing, and his stage adaptation of the Moss Hart memoir, Act One. On Broadway he has also directed David Henry Hwang’s Golden ChildThe Diary of Anne FrankAmourThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and the 2012 Broadway revival of Annie. He has directed the films ImpromptuLife with MikeyCustody and the documentary Six by Sondheim. He is the recipient of three Tony Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize.

Stroman is a five-time Tony Award-wining Director/Choreographer. Her work has been honored with Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and a record six Astaire Awards. Most notably she directed and choreographed The Producers, winner of a record-making 12 Tony Awards. For Lincoln Center Theater she co-created, directed and choreographed the groundbreaking musical Contact. She directed and choreographed the critically acclaimed musical The Scottsboro Boys on Broadway and in the West End, where it was honored with the 2014 Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. She most recently directed the Broadway play POTUS. Other Broadway credits include Oklahoma!, Show Boat, Prince of Broadway, Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish, Young Frankenstein, Thou Shalt Not, The Music Man, The Frogs, Big, Steel Pier, Picnic, and Crazy for You. Off-Broadway credits include The Beast in the Jungle, Dot, Flora the Red Menace, And the World Goes ‘Round, Happiness, The Last Two People on Earth: An Apocalyptic Vaudeville. She directed and choreographed The Merry Widow for The Metropolitan Opera. And she directed and choreographed the Broadway-bound Ahrens/Flaherty musical Little Dancer. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Ronald O. Perelman Center for the Performing Arts located at the World Trade Center and is an inductee of the Theater Hall of Fame in New York City.

Book Reviews

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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