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Jack in the Box

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Member Reviews

JACK IN THE BOX by award-winning director Jack O’Brien is a highly entertaining and also thoughtful reminiscence of his stellar career as a theater director non paralleled. His chapter on interpreting the work of Tom Stoppard is a must read for lovers of the theater and for budding directors out there. I loved every minute of this. Bravo!
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Jack O'Brien has had an enviable career in the theater, and here he shares generously.  There are tips about directing, what it means to be one and what contributions can be expected.  But also there is quite a bit of dish, well, not nasty enough to earn the title dish, but some personal insights into many famous names.  I personally found interesting the section on casting, as I've been present at a low level during that process, and found myself projecting different auditionees in different combinations, hoping to achieve that ineffable quality known as chemistry that will result in the best fit.
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Thanks to Netgalley and FSG for the ebook. The author hasn’t really written a strictly ‘how-to’ book about the art of directing, but more of his personal education over the decades of being a director and running a wonderful theater company. And the stories are pretty fun, starting with his early mentors, through various directing job, being intimidated by, and then loving, Jerry Lewis as a replacement for the revival of Damn Yankees, staring down a scary, 105 year old George Abbott to see if he’d be open to major changes to Yankees, being intimidated by Neil Simon and slowly winning him over, being fired by Andrew Lloyd Webber while trying to direct a sequel to Phantom of the Opera. And finishing the book with such lovely stories about Mike Nichols and Tom Stoppard. These are great stories by a man who obviously has had such a full life that was fueled by his great love of theater.
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