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Author Event: Jack Viertel

Author Event: Jack Viertel In-Person

The Blue Hill Public Library and Blue Hill Books are cosponsoring an author event with Jack Viertel for his books Broadway Melody and The Secret Life of the American Musical on Thursday, July 11 at 7PM in the library's Howard Room.

A show business romance crossing 7000 miles and 70 years, Broadway Melody lands securely in the confines of Times Square and the Theater District, as a crackerjack trumpet player and a blue-collar spotlight operator vie for the love of an aspiring ingenue who holds them both in thrall for their entire lifetimes. Filled with theater lore and history, vivid characters both real and imagined, and a great number of songs in its heart, this novel delivers the ultimate valentine to Broadway then and now.

In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes musicals apart, puts them back together, sings their praises, marvels at their unflagging inventiveness, and occasionally despairs over their more embarrassing shortcomings. In the process, he invites us to fall in love all over again by showing us how musicals happen, what makes them work, how they captivate audiences, and how one landmark show leads to the next—by design or by accident, by emulation or by rebellion—from Oklahoma! to Hamilton and onward.

Jack Viertel began his professional career playing National bottleneck steel guitar behind Bonnie Raitt, Son House, and The Pointer Sisters. He soon graduated to the theater world, where he spent seven years as a critic, two as the dramaturg for the Mark Taper Forum, and the succeeding three decades as Creative Director/Senior Vice President of Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns and operates five Broadway theaters. In that capacity he worked with myriad artists including August Wilson, Tony Kushner, David Henry Hwang, Maury Yeston, Cy Coleman, Stephen Sondheim, George C. Wolfe, Jerry Zaks and many others. For two of those decades (2001-2021) he was also the Artistic Director of New York City Center’s Encores! series, producing 65 musical revivals. On Broadway he produced the Patti Lupone revival of GYPSY and conceived the long running Smokey Joe’s Café, the critically acclaimed After Midnight and served as the dramaturg for Hairspray, Dear Evan Hansen, and The Outsiders. The musical and movie The Prom were developed from his original concept. He taught musical theater at NYU Tisch School of the Arts for a decade and is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Secret Life of The American Musical. He lives with his wife Linda in Tarrytown, New York and Little Deer Isle, Maine.

This program is free and open to all. For more information, call the library at 374-5515 or email Kayleigh at kayleigh.thomas@bhpl.net. Blue Hill Books will be on site with copies of the book for sale. 

Thursday, July 11, 2024
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Howard Room
  Author Event  

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Kayleigh Thomas
Kayleigh Thomas

Assistant Director
(207) 374-5515 x11.