Local author and Flagler College professor, Thomas S. Hischak, is excited to announce the release of his 30th book, “The Mikado to Matilda: British Musicals on the New York Stage.” Published by Rowman & Littlefield, the book covers 110 British musicals, ranging from 1750 to present day, including popular Gilbert and Sullivan comic operettas during the Victorian-era, Andrew Lloyd Webber mega-musicals of the late twentieth century, and recent hits such as “Billy Elliot” and “Matilda.” This is the first book specifically covering this London-to-Broadway traffic flow.
In “The Mikado to Matilda,” Hischak looks at each London musical first as a success in England and then how it fared in America. The plots, songs, songwriters, performers, and producers for both the West End and the Broadway (or Off-Broadway) production are identified and described. The discussion is sometimes critical, evaluating the musicals and why they were or were not a success in New York. The illustrated book is full of rare and familiar titles as well as many surprises, such as the long-running champ, “Salad Days” (1954), which ran 2,283 performances in London, but only 80 performances in New York. Also discussed are the changes made to musicals when they crossed the Atlantic – often with painful results – as with the Fringe Theatre success, “Taboo,” faltering on Broadway and the modest London musical, “A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine,” becoming a surprise Broadway hit.
“There is no guarantee that what pleases London audiences will appeal to Broadway theatregoers,” Hischak explained. “For over 100 years, producers have been baffled by the difference between West End triumphs and New York successes. More recently, long-running London hits like ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ both lost a bundle on Broadway. What went wrong?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Thomas S. Hischak is the author of over thirty books on theatre, film, and popular music including “The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film and Television”; “The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia”; “1939: Hollywood’s Greatest Year”; “The Tin Pan Alley Encyclopedia”; and “The Oxford Companion to American Theatre” (3rd edition) with Gerald Bordman. The author earned his B.A. from St. Louis University and his M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is the author of over 50 published plays and a Fulbright Scholar who has taught and directed in Greece, Lithuania, and Turkey. Mr. Hischak taught theatre at SUNY Cortland for more than 30 years and currently teaches at Flagler College in St. Augustine.
The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Learn more at www.thomashischak.com.