November Book of the Month
November Book of the Month

Check Out the Best Theater Books of the Month for November 2022

Broadway Direct spotlights the best theater books of the month, just for you.

Jack in the Box: Or, How to Goddamn Direct
By Jack O’Brien
$28, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The First Notes: The Story of Do, Re, Mi
By Julie Andrews & Emma Walton Hamilton; art by Chiara Fidele
$18.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

In the last few months, we’ve celebrated great memoirs, such as Shy by Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green, and the dishy, waspish diaries of Alan Rickman. Now here comes another great memoir, and this one actually illuminates what a director does. That director is triple Tony winner Jack O’Brien, and you won’t be surprised to see actors lining up to praise this book. Nathan Lane, Ethan Hawke, and John Lithgow are just three of the bold-faced names singing its praises. O’Brien shares stories from his remarkable career, including landmark shows like the musical Hairspray and plays like The Piano Lesson and The Coast of Utopia. Every step of the way, O’Brien tells stories about the creative process and sharing what happens backstage when things go right … and wrong. (O’Brien is just as insightful sharing war stories about the flops as he is the hits.) It’s not just a memoir but a guide for anyone who wants to work in the theater or appreciate it from the audience, happy to be sitting in their seats instead of backstage sweating it out.

No, we can’t resist Julie Andrews, and don’t ask us to try. She and her daughter Emma deliver their latest project in a long string of bestsellers. This one is doubly delicious: It’s a picture book about the Italian monk who invented the musical scale that incorporates one word for each note. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Do, re, mi? Exactly. Who better than Julie Andrews to bring this story to life? Because when you know the notes to sing …

Michael Giltz is the cohost of the weekly entertainment podcast Showbiz Sandbox. He has covered all areas of entertainment as a journalist, critic, feature writer, and analyst, contributing to numerous outlets, including the New York Daily News, New York Post, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and The Advocate. When Michael’s not attending the theater, he’s reading about it.