Backstage Babble

Ethan Mordden

September 9, 2021

Today, I am so excited to announce my episode with one of the foremost theater historians and one of my personal heroes, the great Ethan Mordden. You may know his legendary decades series or his myriad other books, but today we are here to talk about his newest release, Pick a Pocket or Two: A History of British Musical Theatre. The book is a must-read and can be purchased here: Mr. Mordden tells quite a few tales on today’s episode, including watching a sedentary Elaine Stritch, a brilliant change by Alan Jay Lerner, a shocking fact about Eva LeGallienne, how Oliver revitalized the British musical as a form, performing his own songs for Richard Rodgers, the differences between Gilbert and Sullivan, how a Madame Tussaud’s wax dummy opened a musical, why he doesn’t conduct interviews for his books, and the shows he classifies as pop operas (some may surprise you). Plus Ivor Novello, Susan Johnson, Charlie Stemp, and more!

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