Mainly on Directing

Gypsy, West Side Story, and Other Musicals

Series: Applause Books
Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books
Format: Softcover
Author: Arthur Laurents

As a playwright, screenwriter, and director, Arthur Laurents has a unique place in the history of theater. In this moving, exhilarating, and provocative account, he presents readers with a front-row look at the making of two of the greatest musicals of the American stage, West Side Story and Gypsy. He writes in rich detail about his new bilingual production of West Side Story, along with his most recent production of Gypsy, how it began as an act of love, and how that love spread through the entire company and resulted in a Gypsy unlike any other.

Laurents offers behind-the-scenes details about the musicals he directed, including I Can Get It for You Wholesale, its producer David Merrick (the “Abominable Showman”), and its (very young) stars, Barbra Streisand and Elliott Gould. He dishes on Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle, which starred Angela Lansbury and Lee Remick, marking the debut for each in musical theater. And he recounts the challenges and surprises that came with the making of La Cage aux Folles, the first big Broadway musical that was gay and glad to be.

Throughout, the book is enriched by Laurents's two loves – his love for the theater and his love for his partner of fifty-two years, Tom Hatcher, who shared and inspired every aspect of his life and his work. Mainly on Directing presents an unforgettable portrait of an artist working with other artists, a unique close-up look at today's American musical theater by a man who's been at its red-hot center for more than five decades.

$16.99 (US)
Inventory #HL 00129232
ISBN: 9781480394476
UPC: 888680017699
Width: 6.0"
Length: 9.0"
184 pages


“Required reading for anyone who is passionate about musical theater... a sublimely dishy portrait of Broadway's golden age and beyond, ranging from legends such as Ethel Merman, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim to Laurents' late partner, Tom Hatcher, whose influence on his work is movingly detailed.” – USA Today

“A book that, in its frankness and warmth, is both a professional manual and a moving elegy.” – The New York Times Book Review

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