9 Theatre Books to Read this June | Playbill

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Book News 9 Theatre Books to Read this June

This month’s new releases include a historical look at queer culture on stage, as well as scripts from 2023 Tony winner Kimberly Akimbo and Tony nominee Fat Ham.

The Theatre District is buzzing with summer tourists, the sun is shining, and awards season has come to a close—June is an important month for theatre lovers everywhere. Whether you’re still recovering from The Tony Awards or celebrating Pride month, we’ve got you covered with this list of must-reads.

New releases for June include a look at the revitalization of the West End in the 1980s, the script of the 2023 Tony nominated play Fat Ham, and a queer love story following a New York City composer with Broadway dreams. Read on for our June book recommendations. 

Nutrition for Dance and Performance
By Jasmine Challis
This complete textbook from Jasmine Challis, a dietitian specializing in dance nutrition, provides advice for dancers/performers as well as instructors. Nutrition for Dance and Performance reviews the energy and nutrient needs for a health-focused approach to dancers’ nutrition.
Available June 14 from Routledge.

Gays On Broadway by Ethan Mordden

Gays on Broadway
By Ethan Mordden
This new release details the history and legacy of queer culture on Broadway. With analysis of La Cage aux Folles, Fun Home, and more LGBTQ+ stories of the stage, Gays on Broadway is a perfect read to kick off pride month. 
Available now from Oxford University Press.

Milestones in Musical Theatre
By Mary Jo Lodge
Milestones in Musical Theatre selects ten of the most significant moments in theatre history, especially those by Black creators. The piece details the development of musical theatre in chronological order, with attention to how factors like race, gender, and nationality have influenced the art form.
Available June 30 from Routledge.

(M)Other Perspectives
By Lynn Deboeck and Aoise Stratford
This anthology explores motherhood in contemporary performance, as well as the cultural implications of theatrical representations of maternity. The new release also examines onstage motherhood in relationship to mental health, queer parenting, and more.
Available June 1 from Routledge.

When The British Musical Ruled The World by Robert Sellers

When the British Musical Ruled the World
By Robert Sellers
In a comprehensive look across the pond, this new release explains how British musicals initially struggled to compete with Broadway productions, until Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita revitalized the West End. With additional looks at blockbusters like Cats, Les Misérables, and Miss Saigon, the book shares stories from cast and crew members, obstacles that almost derailed productions, and more.
Available June 1 from Applause.

If I Forget and Other Plays
By Steven Levenson
From acclaimed writer Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen (book), Tick, Tick…Boom! (screenplay)) comes this collection of plays including If I Forget, “a powerful tale of a family and a culture at odds with itself.”
Available June 13 from Theatre Communications Group.

All The Right Notes by Dominic Lim

All the Right Notes
By Dominic Lim
Quito is a budding Broadway composer living in New York City who has been in a creative rut for years, and his former best friend is a Hollywood celebrity. When the two are reunited, the resulting story is a new queer romance “filled with heart, love of music, found family, and fresh starts.”
Available June 6 from Forever.

Fat Ham
By James Ijames
James Ijames’ Fat Ham, a 2023 Tony nominee for Best Play and winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Drama is an acclaimed reinvention of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The play follows Juicy, a young, queer, Black man who fights to break a cycle of trauma and toxic masculinity with the backdrop of a Southern family barbeque.
Available June 13 from Theatre Communications Group.

Kimberly Akimbo
By Jeanine Tesori, David Lindsay-Abaire
This beloved Broadway new show received eight 2023 Tony award nominations, including Best Musical. Kimberly Akimbo follows 15-year-old Kimberly, who suffers from a disease that causes her to age at a much higher rate than the average teenager, while she grapples with familial dysfunction, her first teenage crush, and more.
Available June 6 from Theatre Communications Group.

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