Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Breaking into Song -- new book by Mel Atkey now available


As you may know, for the past year I have been working on my MA in Musical Theatre at Goldsmiths in London.  This is partly so that I can put the work I did on writing Broadway North and  A Million Miles from Broadway to more effective use as a teacher and lecturer, although my main project will be The Last Queen of Paradise, a musical about the American takeover of Hawaii.

In the meantime, I have just published a small volume of my articles, essays and interviews from the past 35 years.  Breaking Into Song begins with my first ever interview for what was then a syndicated radio series called Broadway Melodies back in 1980.  Stephen Schwartz was then working on turning The Magic Show into a movie.  This was to be the beginning of a correspondence that lasted a couple of decades in which he offered me encouragement as a writer of musicals, long before he began doing it on a grander scale through ASCAP.

It also features a fascinating interview with Reid Shelton, Annie’s original Daddy Warbucks recalling the development process that show went through, and the lengths to which the Kennedy Centre’s Roger Stevens went to keep the costs (and the ticket prices) down (eg. Opening night in Washington DC, the scenery was not painted, as he didn’t want to spend the money until he knew the show was a hit.).  Those are just two of the seven essays collected in this book, which can be ordered by clicking here.  (There is a 20% discount if you order before it goes on wider sale, which will be in 4-6 weeks.)

A Million Miles from Broadway – Musical Theatre Beyond New York and London can also be ordered here.


I hope you enjoy them!


Mel Atkey