Every month, BookFilter selects the best new theater book, exclusively for Broadway Direct readers.
Fraver by Design: Five Decades of Theatre Poster Art From Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Beyond
By Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo
$34.99, Schiffer Publishing
The best theater posters capture the spirit of a show in one indelible image, stand on their own as art, and are powerful ads that make fans reach for their wallets to buy tickets.
Fraver by Design is just as versatile. First and foremost, it’s a career retrospective of Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo, one of the most acclaimed artists in Broadway history — a professional biography of the most engaging sort. But it’s also a visual treat, bursting with anecdotes about shows, a casual history of the art of theater posters, a behind-the-scenes peek at the selling of Broadway, and a master class in how to go about crafting these works of art.
Essentially, this is a coffee table book, a handsomely produced collection of hundreds of classic images. But most every image has a succinct paragraph about it, ranging from amusing stories to insights on how it was created, or just Verlizzo’s enthusiastic excitement over working with, say, Mia Farrow or the show at hand. Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in stories and knowledge that will be a treat for fans and genuinely useful for professionals.