Here’s to the Ladies: Conversations with More of the Great Women of Musical Theatre

Oxford Univ. Sept. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780197585535. $39.95. THEATER
Following Nothing Like a Dame: Conversations with the Great Women of Musical Theater, Shapiro returns with another installment of interviews with 19 notable women of musical theater. This work spotlights Barbara Cook, Tonya Pinkins, Faith Prince, Charlotte d’Amboise, Heather Headley, Kerry Butler, Jessie Mueller, Alice Ripley, Karen Olivo, and more. As in previous volumes, Shapiro’s thorough knowledge of theater helps him connect with his subjects in conversation. But the bulk of the book gives space to the actresses themselves, allowing them to speak at length on their careers, successes and struggles, and theatrical memories both positive and negative. A notable entry is the chapter on Marin Mazzie, who died of ovarian cancer in 2018 before she could be interviewed; Shapiro speaks with her husband, friends, and colleagues to craft a thoughtful reflection on Mazzie’s life and work.
VERDICT Another delightful gathering of the voices of women of Broadway. An excellent choice for musical theater and women-in-the-performing-arts library collections and fans.
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