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Author Jack Viertel Discusses New Book In Stamford

Jack Viertel
Jack Viertel Photo Credit: Contributed/Joan Markus

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Jack Viertel returns to his native Stamford to discuss his new book, "The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built" at the Ferguson Library on Sunday, April 10.

Born and raised in Shippan Point and North Stamford, Viertel has been a major figure in the Broadway theater world for more than 30 years. He’s helped create shows like "Hairspray," "Angels in America," and "Into the Woods" and is currently senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which host such shows as "The Book of Mormon" and "Jersey Boys."

"The Secret Life of the American Musical" is an insider’s look at the anatomy of the Broadway musical. The book draws on a range of examples – from "Carousel" to "Wicked," "The Music Man" to "The Book of Mormon" – and personal encounters to paint a picture of how Broadway musicals are made, taking you through all the phases of a typical musical theater story, from opening numbers to finales.

It’s a hilarious and compelling look at what Viertel has learned over the course of his career, full of observations about the egotists, geniuses and workaday professionals who have sustained this unique American art form.

"The Secret Life of the American Musical" has been receiving high praise from critics and Broadway veterans: “Both revelatory and entertaining.” -- The New York Times Book Review. “Viertel’s knowledgeable, engaging blueprint of [the] Broadway musical framework is instructive fun for cognoscenti and general readers alike.” ―The Washington Post. “[H]is knowledge of the Broadway musical and of the intricate formula in the making of a show (or the breaking of it), and his passion for Broadway and the citizens who make the street come alive. I’ve been schooled.” ―Patti LuPone.

Light refreshments will be available at the program, which starts at 2 p.m. There will also be a book sale and signing. For additional information, call (203) 351-8231.

The event will take place in the library's Ernest A. DiMattia, Jr. Building at One Public Library Plaza, Stamford.

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