Join the first-ever StageDoorDish.com Book Club!

Anthony Rapp reading from "Without You."

Anthony Rapp reading from “Without You.”

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So what are we missing?

Books!

The idea for a book club came to me while I was perusing the theatre arts section of Barnes and Noble. With an interest in always making our fans feel like a part of SDD, it only made sense to see what our bookworm readership thought of the idea.

I didn’t expect strong enthusiasm but within minutes SDD’s Twitter and Tumblr were filling up with excitement over a monthly book club.

So here’s how it will work:

We will read one book a month. And about 90% of the time the books will be chosen by members of the book club. The other 10% of the time, we might be collaborating with a playwright or an author for some additional fun.

Because this is a theatre webzine, all of the books will be directly related to theatre. Memoirs, books that inspired hit shows, even fiction books about life of aspiring stage performers, etc. are all potential subject we’ll be reading about. As long as it has a direct relation to theatre, it’s a possibility for this book club.

There will be a weekly discussion post about the book where we can comment and discuss with each other. Right here on StageDoorDish.com, our stomping grounds, we will have some thoughtful discussion questions and will encourage a message board forum discussion. If there’s enough interest, we might even consider hosting a Google Hangout discussion in the future.

Being part of the book club means you might have an opportunity to win some SDD swag. It’s still in the works (I haven’t found a company I really love yet) but wouldn’t it be cool to mark your pages with a SDD bookmark, have some stickers to adorn your notebooks or proudly sport a SDD t-shirt? We think so too.

We love Les Mis but we won’t be reading the brick. I suggested that if all goes well, we could possibly read it next fall but we would allow for two, maybe even three, months for that. And there has to be enough interest in it. Keep in mind while suggesting books that not everyone can read 100 pages a day. I figure that 10 pages a day seems realistic and light, 20 pages seems reasonable but 50 and beyond is incredibly difficult for people who have jobs and other obligations.

Now onto the fun part: the books you’ll be voting on!

You can vote for as many books as you want. The book with the most votes before Tuesday will be our first selection.

To vote for a book, jut leave the title in a comment.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West written by Gregory Maguire

This is the book that started it all! The basis for the smash hit Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Gregory Maguire’s breathtaking New York Times bestseller Wicked views the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, through a darker and greener (not rosier) lens. Brilliantly inventive, Wicked offers us a radical new evaluation of one of the most feared and hated characters in all of literature: the much maligned Wicked Witch of the West who, as Maguire tells us, wasn’t nearly as Wicked as we imagined.

The Phantom of the Opera written by Gaston Leroux

This is the original edition of the classic The Phantom of the Opera, the novel that inspired the Lon Chaney film and the hit musical.

Without You: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and the Musical Rent a memoir by Anthony Rapp

Anthony Rapp had a special feeling about Jonathan Larson’s rock musical Rent as early as his first audition, which won him a starring role as the video artist Mark Cohen. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent opened to thunderous acclaim off-Broadway — but even as friends and family were celebrating the show’s first success, they were also mourning Jonathan Larson’s sudden death from an aortic aneurysm. And when Anthony’s mom began to lose her battle with cancer, Anthony found himself struggling to balance his life in the theater with his responsibility to his family. In Without You, Anthony tells of his exhilarating journey with the cast and crew of Rent as well as the intimacies of his personal life behind the curtain. Marked by fledgling love and devastating loss, Without You is an exceptional memoir of the world of theater, the love of a son for his mother, and maturity won far too early.

Matilda written by Ronald Dahl

Matilda is a brilliant and sensitive child, but her parents think of her only as a nuisance. When one day she is attacked by her odious headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, Matilda suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to avenge herself!

Mr. Broadway: The Inside Story of the Shuberts, the Shows, and the Stars a memoir by Gerald Schoenfeld

Mr. Broadway was completed just one month before Gerald Schoenfeld’s death in 2008 at the age of 84. Bringing the reader backstage, the long-term chairman of the Shubert Organization shares his triumphs and failures, sings praise, and settles scores. He recounts nightmarish tales of the Shuberts, themselves – the meanness of Lee, the madness of JJ, the turmoil surrounding John’s personal life, and the drunken ineptitude of Lawrence Shubert Lawrence, Jr., the man who succeeded them and nearly brought the Shubert legacy to an ignominious end. An active participant in that legacy for over 50 years, Schoenfeld describes how he and his partner, Bernie Jacobs, saved the Shubert Organization, bringing some of Broadway’s greatest hits to the stage – from A Chorus Line, Equus, and Amadeus to Pippin, Les Miserables, Evita, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Godspell, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Dreamgirls, Dancin’, Sunday in the Park with George, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Heidi Chronicles, The Gin Game, Miss Saigon, and Chess.

If you would like to participate but can’t afford a book, please get in contact with me. Ideally I’d love to set up a small scholarship for those facing financial hardships. If you have any additional comments or questions, please comment this post or email me at stagedoordish@gmail.com.

Book summaries were written by Amazon.com.

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About Samantha S.

"I found the theatre and I found my home.” ― Audra McDonald
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44 Responses

  1. Wicked!

  2. Is it too late to join the book club?

  3. I vote for Mr. Broadway. “Source” books are fine, but the histories (my second choice is Without You) are what fascinate me.

  4. If it hasn’t already been picked, I’d love Matilda :)

  5. Mr. Broadway: The Inside Story of the Shuberts, the Shows, and the Stars

    Sounds like the most insightful one, period!

  6. Without You! :) I’ve always been interested in it!!!

  7. Matilda

  8. Wicked :)

  9. This is a FANTASTIC idea!!!

    I loved reading “Without You” and would love to read it again! However, I will cast my vote for “Wicked” since that is one I have yet to peruse.

  10. I just ordered my copy of Without You so if it doesn’t win I’m going to be a bit pained. Just saying.

  11. Without You!

  12. Without You or Phantom!

  13. WIthout you!

  14. Without you!

  15. Without You!

  16. Or Without You, actually.

  17. Phantom of the Opera or Wicked

  18. I vote Wicked

  19. Wicked, Phantom or Matilda!!

  20. The results so far are:

    10 votes for Without You
    6 votes for Wicked
    3 votes for The Phantom of the Opera
    2 voted for Mr. Broadway

    Keep voting!

  21. Even though I’ve been meaning to read Wicked, I’m voting for Without You because I think it’d be a lovely first read for a book club. :3

  22. Mr. Broadway, for my two cents.

    • That was my second pick and the book that really gave me the idea for the book club. Do you think our votes could count twice? (I joke..)

  23. For what it’s worth, I’m gunning for Without You…

  24. Phantom of the Opera!

  25. I vote for Phantom. It’s literally been sitting on my bedside table waiting for me to read for over a week so this is a good incentive. :)

  26. Mr. Broadway

  27. Wicked :)

  28. I loved Wicked and I know most theatre people are pretty open-minded but it’s a bit racy. That being said I vote for Without You because I love Rent and it sounds like it’ll give me a good cry.

  29. Without You!

  30. Wicked!

  31. Wicked!

  32. Without You

  33. Without you

  34. I vote for Without You.

  35. I’m voting for Without You, because I really want to read it, and because I’ve been on a Rent kick the last few weeks!

  36. Wicked DEFINITELY gets my first vote! I love Gregory Maguire.

  37. Wicked!

  38. Without you.

  39. Wicked

  40. I vote Phantom of the Opera, always planned on reading it but never had the chance to!

  41. I vote for Without You!