Robert Brustein is a playwright, director, critic, teacher, founder of the Yale Repertory and American Repertory Theatres, and currently Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Suffolk University. His latest book is Winter Passages.
 (December 2014)

IN THE REVIEW

Fiddle Shtick

Maria Karnilova and Zero Mostel in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof, 1964

Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof

by Alisa Solomon

Tradition! The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World’s Most Beloved Musical

by Barbara Isenberg
Fiddler on the Roof, which opened fifty years ago and had 3,242 performances, was the longest-running musical in Broadway history. We now have not one but two books about it—Alisa Solomon’s Wonder of Wonders and Barbara Isenberg’s Tradition! We can anticipate numerous revivals in professional theaters, schools, and summer camps.

On Stage Near Shanghai

A scene from Stan Lai’s Chinese-language play A Dream Like a Dream, performed at the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in April
Last May, my wife and I traveled to China in order to spend two weeks at the international Wuzhen Theatre Festival. I had previously been appointed honorary chairman of the event, which also included among its presentations the final play in my Shakespeare trilogy. 2013 is the festival’s inaugural year, …

From Brecht to Broadway

Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya, circa 1940s

Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya

by Ethan Mordden
Love Song: The Lives of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya is the title Ethan Mordden gives to his new work on these two major twentieth-century musical artists. But the relationship between Weill and Lenya was less a feverish romance than a very practical partnership, not so much a tender love …

A Prince of the Palefaces

Thornton Wilder at the age of nine or ten, Berkeley, California, circa 1906–1907

Thornton Wilder: A Life

by Penelope Niven
Thornton Niven Wilder, author of seven novels and nine plays, was born in 1897 in Madison, Wisconsin, the grandson of a Presbyterian clergyman, and the son of a government diplomat who later became a newspaper editor. Best known for Our Town, a homespun story of domestic life in a small …