Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays: Volume Three

Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays:

Volume Three

edited by William W. Demastes

Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays, Volume Three (May 2015, Applause Books, $19.99) features a diverse selection drawn from the outstanding works from many of today’s best American playwrights.

Contrary to the old saw, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” words can break spirits, destroy confidence. They can also build hope and incite great acts of heroism. Playwrights know this, and so do theater audiences. Otherwise, why go? Words matter and carry clout every bit as dangerous as a hammer or crowbar. This, too, playwrights know.

The monologues in this volume are full of such blows, striking at our imaginations and our memories, generating responses such as joyful laughter or chilling surprise. Others squeeze us into worlds we’ve never experienced, or perhaps experienced at the furthest edges of memory and recollection. Still others may help us alter the way we see certain things, people, or beliefs.

Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays, Volume Three is a collection drawn from the popular Best American Short Plays series, an archive of works from many of the best playwrights active today. Long or short, serious or not, excerpts or entireties, this collection abounds in speech acts that may trigger physical reactions and almost certainly will transform an attitude or two, drawing out lost memories, creating new ones, and definitely entertaining, engaging, amusing us all along the way.

Included in this collection are monologues by Michael Ross Albert, Janet Allard, James Armstrong, Leslie Ayvazian, John Bolen, Darren Canady, Brent Englar, Jonathan Fitts, Edith Freni, Gabriel Rivas Gomez, John Guare, Angela C. Hall, Patrick Holland, Kimberly La Force, Susan Miller, Cary Pepper, Andrea Sloan Pink, Craig Pospisil, David Rusiecki, Murray Schisgal, Kyle John Schmidt, Shel Silverstein, Crystal Skillman, Douglas Soderberg, Lisa Soland, Lawrence Thelen, Mac Wellman, and the writing teams of A.K. Abeille and David Manos Morris, and Jean-Claude van Itallie and Joseph Chaikin.

5.5″ x 8.5″
288 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

William W. Demastes is an Alumni Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He has published widely on modern theater and Drama, including two previous editions of The Best American Short Plays, and the earlier volumes of Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays, published by Applause Books, and Spalding Gray’s America, published by Limelight Editions. He lives in Baton Rouge, La.


You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman

You Fascinate Me So:

The Life and Times of Cy Coleman

by Andy Propst

He penned the mega hits “Witchcraft,” “Big Spender,” and “The Best Is Yet to Come.” He wrote classical musicals, such as Sweet CharityCity of Angels, Barnum, and The Will Rogers Follies. Everyone can hum his music, but few know the man behind these timeless tunes, until now. In You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books Hardcover; April 15, 2015, $32.99), music and theater journalist Andy Propst takes readers into the world and work of this amazing Tony, Grammy, and Emmy Award-winning composer/performer. Propst explores Cy Coleman’s days as a child prodigy in the 1930s, his time as a hot jazz pianist and early television celebrity in the 1950s, and his life as one of Broadway’s preeminent composers up until his death in November 2004.

Propst received full cooperation from the Cy Coleman estate, and as a result, this premiere biography of Coleman is filled with previously unknown details about his body of work. Additionally, interviews with colleagues and friends, including Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Ken Howard, Michele Lee, James Naughton, Phyllis Newman, Hal Prince, Chita Rivera, and Tommy Tune, provide insight into Coleman’s dynamic personality and amazing career.

“I don’t believe there was any separation between Cy’s everyday life and music,” says Coleman’s widow, Shelby. “Upon landing in Paris, Cy told me to be very quiet and listen to the beat of the city. ‘It’s very different than New York. Do you feel it?’ He heard music and rhythms everywhere.”

To further highlight Cy Coleman’s musical genius, Harbinger Records will release a companion CD showcasing 28 songs as played and sung by the man himself. CY COLEMAN: You Fascinate Me So (May 15, 2015, $16.99) spans Coleman’s entire career as a composer, with hits like “Hey, Look Me Over” and “I’ve Got Your Number.”

In You Fascinate Me So, Andy Propst has written a beguiling biography that provides a window into the world of a musical genius who deeply influenced American music and its legendary performers, including Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Shirley MacLaine, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dame Shirley Bassey.

Praise for You Fascinate Me So:

“Cy did everything his ‘own’ way. He was unique. Unorthodox. I worked with and was friends with him. I thought I knew pretty much everything about him. Boy, was I wrong. This book is ‘one hell of a ride.'”

—Michele Lee, actress

“The great composer Cy Coleman deserves this comprehensive, well-written, and fascinating account of an important career in the musical theater.”

—Hal Prince, Tony Award-winning producer and director

6″ x 9″
510 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

Andy Propst is a journalist and author living in New York City. His career has encompassed work with New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph Papp and Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe, as well as five years on-air at XM Satellite Radio’s XM 28 On Broadway channel. His writing has appeared in The Village VoiceTime Out/NYBackstage, and The Sondheim Review, and online at the site he founded,, as well as In addition, he is curator and chief content officer for and is at work on a biography of pop songwriter and Broadway tunesmith Bob Merrill.


Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci

The Metropolitan Opera Presents:

Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana

and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci

The complete libretti, in time for the operas’ premieres in the Met’s Live in HD series!

Opera’s most enduring tragic double bill of verismo masterpieces, Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci share many common features, most noticeably their direct language, plot simplicity, common-folk characters, and themes of adultery, betrayal, revenge, and murder. Written within two years of each other, and both set in villages in southern Italy, they feature dramatic confrontations, turbulent emotions, and gritty realism.

The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (April 2015, $18.99) is the latest in the Metropolitan Opera Presents Libretto Library Series by Amadeus Press. In this groundbreaking series, classic and well-known operas are presented in a fresh new package. Each book features the complete libretto; color image inserts from Met Opera productions, a Met Opera libretto “In Focus” feature; and official Met Opera program notes. All titles include introductions and forewords by renowned opera experts.

Cavalleria Rusticana takes place on Easter in a Sicilian village, where Turiddu, after returning from the army to find his beloved Lola married to the carter Alfio, found solace with the peasant girl Santuzza but ultimately betrayed her and ruined her reputation. When Turiddu goes back to Lola, Santuzza seeks revenge, with tragic results.

In Pagliacci, a troupe of traveling commedia dell’arte players is torn apart when its leader, Canio, discovers that his wife, Nedda, has taken a lover. In the ensuing “play within a play,” the actors struggle to go on with their performance as the line between theater and reality collapses, leading to an explosive climax.

The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci is the sixth title in Amadeus Press’s Metropolitan Opera Presents Libretto Series, following Puccini’s Tosca, Puccini’s La Boheme, and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and Bizet’s Carmen.

6″ x 9″
134 pages
Amadeus Press, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Fortune in My Eyes

Fortune in My Eyes

A Memoir of  Broadway, Glamour, Social Justice and Political Passion

by David Rothenberg

“If you’ve ever wanted to change the world, read this book! David Rothenberg has done that . . . one life at a time . . . Starting with his!”                                                                                                                                                                                          –Linda Lavin, actress and member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame

“He was Elizabeth Taylor’s date to see ‘Hamlet’ starring Richard Burton, a mediator during the 1971 Attica prison riots and a founder of the Fortune Society, which helps former prisoners re-enter society. He produced plays about current and former inmates and, in his day jobs, was a theatrical press agent and a WBAI radio host. Now David Rothenberg has woven together the different roles of his career in a revealing and inspirational autobiography. . . . a profile in courage.”  –The New York Times

“David Rothenberg has been a progressive prophet for our times. For gay rights, for prisoner rights, for theater and the arts. David has been a strong voice of integrity. America is better for David’s courage; I’m better for having read his candid memoir of a valiant life.”                                                                                                                                                                 –Jim McGreevey, former governor of New Jersey

“David Rothenberg’s Fortune in My Eyes serves as a primer for all of us who strive to lead meaningful lives. His commitment to social justice is unwavering. The stories of the many who have been forever changed by the Fortune Society are told with honesty and compassion, and he illuminates for the reader the transformational power of love. Davis is a true American hero.”                                                                                                                                                                  –Christine Ebersole, Tony Award-winning actress

“David Rothenberg indeed is Superman hiding in the body and soul of a gentle man. This book tells his remarkable story with the warmth, good humor, and a sense of decency the world needs more of.”                                                                         –Martin F. Horn, executive director, New York State Sentencing Commission

David Rothenberg enjoyed a thriving career in theater during its golden age, working with icons, including Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Lauren Bacall, and John Gielgud. But when he read the play Fortune and Men’s Eyes – a prison drama – it dramatically changed the course of his life. In Fortune in My Eyes: A Memoir of Broadway Glamour, Social Justice, and Political Passion (Applause Theatre & Cinema Books Trade Paperback; April 21, 2015; $19.99), David Rothenberg shares his inspiring journey from Schubert Alley to the Fortune Society’s Castle.

Rothenberg established The Fortune Society in 1967 to serve as a social service and advocacy organization, whose mission is to support successful reentry from prison and promote alternatives to incarceration. The merging of these two seemingly disparate worlds takes Rothenberg, and the people he meets along the way, on a fascinating and ultimately liberating journey.

At a time when criminal justice reform is more critical than ever before, Fortune in My Eyes sets forth the serious issue of corruption and brutality in jails, as well as the problems men and women face when they are released from prison and have to adjust to life on the outside.

More than an exploration of theater’s possibilities for social change, Fortune in My Eyes is a meditation on what it means to be human, and how we can create a society that values our shared humanity.

5.75″ x 8.75″
400 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

David Rothenberg has been involved with over 200 Broadway and off-Broadway productions, as publicist or producer. Rothenberg represented some of the most successful theater offerings in the second half of the twentieth century, including the original production of Hair, Richard Burton’s HamletBeyond the FringeBlue Man Group, Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, and several plays by Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams. His production of John Herbert’s prison drama led to the creation of the Fortune Society, one of the nation’s leading advocacy and service organizations in criminal justice. Rothenberg conceived, directed, and coauthored the play The Castle, which played off-Broadway for thirteen months (2011-2012). He is a former member of the NYC Human Rights Commission, and he has hosted a weekly radio program on WBAI-/NYC for nearly forty years. He lives in New York City.


Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming

The Ultimate Reference for Sound Design: Second Edition

Foreword by Stephen Fortner


Synthesizers have evolved dramatically over the past four decades, and Hal Leonard, the musician’s best source of books on the music business, audio technology, instrument history, and more, is proud to now publish the updated second edition of the widely popular Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming.

The book covers everything today’s electronic music producers need to know to create new and exciting sounds with any type of synthesizer: from the preset-oriented instruments that faithfully reproduce piano or violin sounds and knob-covered analog offerings that produce synthesized sounds, to digital instruments and software programs that allow the user control every nuance of the tone. While manuals often tell the reader simply which button to press, they fail to explain what is going on “under the hood” or what it means musically and technically. Jim Aikin’s Power Tools for Synthesizers is currently the only book that covers the big synthesis picture while providing insightful details at the same time.

Jim Aikin is a synthesis expert and has had his finger on the pulse of the latest industry developments writing for Keyboard Magazine his entire career. On the writing of a second edition, he says: “This is not just an update but a wall-to-wall revised edition. A great deal has changed in the past ten years. Additive synthesis, granular synthesis, and physical modeling have gone mainstream, thanks to the power of today’s computers. The iPad is now emerging as a viable music platform. Alternative controller hardware is available in many shapes. And old-fashioned modular analog synthesis has made a surprising comeback.”

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming is an essential resource for both musicians working with presets and for those who want to dig deeper and edit the presets or even design their own sounds. Chapters on oscillators, filters, envelope generators, LFOs, effects, and digital audio reveal how to get the most out of the instrument. To supplement the text, dozens of new illustrations have been added, and more than 30 streaming online videos, narrated by the author, explain the operational details of numerous software instruments.

7.25″ x 9.25″
256 pages
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

Jim Aikin has been writing about music technology for more than 30 years. He is the author of hundreds of product reviews and tutorial features in Keyboard, Electronic Musician, and other magazines, as well as books on Csound, music theory, and cello technique. He also teaches classical cello privately and plays in community orchestras. In his PC-based home studio, he composes and records using software instruments from more than a dozen manufacturers. His music can be heard at and


How I Did It

How I Did It

Establishing a Playwriting Career

edited by Lawrence Harbison

How do playwrights get their start? Where does the idea of being a playwright even come from, and then how does one start?

These are among the questions asked and answered in How I Did It: Establishing a Playwriting Career (March 2015, Applause Books, $24.99). Lawrence Harbison has 30 interviewed successful playwrights who have developed relationships with theaters that regularly produce their plays, have had at least one major New York production, have their plays published by a licensor such as Dramatists Play Service or Samuel French, have received commissions, and have an agent.

Harbison asks each of them the same question: “How did you do it?”

How I Did It features an introduction by Theresa Rebeck and interviews with:

David Auburn                                 Daniel Goldfarb                         Itamar Moses Stephen Belber                               Kirsten Greenidge                     Bruce Norris Adam Bock                                     Rinne Groff                              Lynn Nottage Bekah Brunstetter                           Lauren Gunderson                      Aaron Posner Sheila Callaghan                             Michael Hollinger                       Adam Rapp John Carlani                                   Rajiv Joseph                              J.T. Rogers Eric Coble                                       Greg Kotis                                Lloyd Suh Jessica Dickey                                 Neil LaBute                                Carl Thomas Kate Fodor                                      Deborah Zoe Laufer                  Sharr White Gina Gionfriddo                               Wendy MacLeod                        Anna Ziegler

A valuable tool for playwrights daunted by the extremely difficult task of getting their work produced, as well as to playwriting students, How I Did It is full of stories of how it’s done.

Paperback Original
6″ x 9″
256 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

ABOUT THE EDITOR:                                                                            
Lawrence Harbison was is charge of new play acquisition for Samuel French, Inc., for more than 30 years. He edits annual anthologies of best plays by new playwrights and women playwrights, best 10-minute plays, and monologues for men and for women. His column “On the Aisle with Larry” is a regular feature at Harbison was a member of the Drama Desk Nominating Committee for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons and is a member of the Outer Critics Circle as well as the Drama Desk. He works with individual playwrights to help them develop their plays at his website, He is the editor of Best Contemporary Monologues for Women and Best Contemporary Monologues for Men, both published by Applause Books. He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Guitar Player

Guitar Player

The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever

edited by Jim Crockett w/Dara Crockett | Foreword by Joe Satriani

The first 22 years of the seminal guitar

magazine, as told by the people who were there.

Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever (March 2015, Backbeat Books, $29.99) is a reflection on Guitar Player‘s often pioneering early days, from its 1967 founding through its 1989 sale by founder Bud Eastman and editor/publisher Jim Crockett. The book looks at the magazine’s evolution from a 40-page semi-monthly to a monthly exceeding 200 pages, with a gross yearly income that grew from $40,000 to nearly $15 million.

The story is told by many people important to Guitar Player‘s history, including Maxine Eastman, Bud Eastman’s widow, and Crockett, who edited this book with his daughter Dara. Also here are recollections of key personnel, including Tom Wheeler, Jas Obrecht, Roger Siminoff, Mike Varney, Jon Sievert, George Gruhn, and Robb Lawrence; leading early advertisers, such as Martin, Randall, and Fender; and prominent guitar players featured in the magazine, including Joe Perry, George Benson, Pat Travers, Country Joe McDonald, Pat Metheny, Steve Howe, Lee Ritenour, Johnny Winter, Steve Morse, Larry Coryell, Michael Lorimer, John McLaughlin, Stanley Clarke, Liona Boyd, Steve Vai, and many others.

Among the many illustrations are then-and-now shots of performers and staff, early ads, behind-the-scenes photos from company jam sessions (with such guests as B.B. King and Chick Corea), various fascinating events, and key issue covers.

Rich in history and perspective, and with a foreword by Joe Satriani, Guitar Player: The Inside Story of the First Two Decades of the Most Successful Guitar Magazine Ever is the definitive first-person chronicle of a music magazine’s golden age.

8″ x 10.5″
304 pages
Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Jim Crockett was editor and then president/publisher of Guitar Player between 1970 and 1989. He also created the magazines Keyboard, Bass Player, Drums & Drumming, and Frets. His books include Fix Your Axe and The Why-To of Scuba Diving, and he has written more than 1,000 published articles. He lives in Acton, Calif.

Dara Crockett is a freelance writer, photographer, teacher, and artist manager. When she’s not surrounded by music and words, she is out in nature photographing the beauty of Southern Oregon. She lives in Ashland, Ore.