After opening in a small Off-Broadway theater, Rent, a modern adaptation of Puccini's La Bohème, quickly became a worldwide phenomenon with a more zealous and devoted fan base than had any musical in history. Rent FAQ includes biographical info on the musical's brilliant creator, Jonathan Larson, who tragically passed away at age 35 the night before the show began preview performances. Other chapters focus on the creative team and original cast; the development of the script and score from early drafts and workshop performances to the version we know and love today; the movie version, tours, and much more. The section “Rent Cultural Literacy” is a guide to all the titles and real people referenced in the show and the East Village and Alphabet City locations that Rent helped make famous; another chapter provides clues to the characters and tips for anyone thinking about auditioning for the musical, or putting on a production! A final chapter provides a rundown, with numerous photos, of revivals and local productions all over the country, including regional, community, and dinner theaters, and high school and college versions. Rent FAQ is a treasure trove of information, background, and fun facts for the show's devotees as well as anyone who might be lucky enough to be discovering the musical for the first time!
Looking for a comprehensive chronicle of the films of legendary director, screenwriter, and producer John Hughes? You’re holding it in your hands. Covering the entirety of Hughes's career, from his earliest features through to his mainstream box-office successes, John Hughes FAQ explores the key factors that contributed to his legendary status in the world of cinema. While Hughes has become especially well known for the eight films that he directed between 1984 and 1991—including Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)—he made a considerably greater contribution to cinema through the dozens of high-profile screenplays that he developed for production throughout the '80s and '90s. John Hughes FAQ investigates many different aspects of Hughes's prolific career in film—discussing his distinctive flair for creating entertaining and engaging characters, his enthusiasm for new technology and eventful road trips, and his insightful social commentary on class and culture. Considering the entire sweep of Hughes's work behind the camera, John Hughes FAQ focuses not only on the popular classics of his filmography but also on many of his movies that have achieved a certain cultural prominence over the passing years.
For more than 50 years John Waters has been staging a coup against the good taste of the American public. From the ultimate gross-out in Pink Flamingos to the amazing general-audience rating of his biggest hit Hairspray, Waters has been subverting viewers' expectations with comedies that stretch past the boundaries of even today's jaded audiences. A provocateur of bad taste in a glorious way, Waters started out as an outsider with a camera and a small circle of fellow delinquents. In tearing down icons of the silver screen, Waters would create his own that are used still by others in movies and television. And that's only part of the tale. John Waters FAQ looks at how a nice boy from the right side of the tracks would end up becoming a demon of society and the influences that drove his ambition in moviemaking. Also featured are biographical information of the Dreamlanders -- the actors and crew members who would join Waters on his adventures in filmland over the years, including Waters's best-remembered find Divine. Beyond chapters dedicated to the making of each of his films -- from Hag in a Black Leather Jacket to his most recent A Dirty Shame -- there are those covering his career as a writer and artist. Also reviewed are his acting career in other people's television shows and movies over the years, Water's interest in music, and projects that never were to be. John Waters FAQ covers it all in the career of a man who started out with a dream of becoming an underground filmmaker and became so much more.
This month, as Sir Elton John celebrates his seventieth birthday, Backbeat Books is thrilled to announce the release of Donald Gibson's Elton John FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Rocket Man. An exploration of Sir Elton's accolades alone could span several volumes: in a career spanning nearly five decades, he has sold over 250 million records worldwide, appeared in nearly 4 000 live performances, been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and received multiple awards and nominations from the Academy, GRAMMYs, Oscars, and Tonys. How can one possibly hope to examine the life and times of this peerless singer-songwriter, the most successful solo artist Great Britain has ever produced and the third-most successful artist overall in American music history? Why, with Backbeat's acclaimed FAQ format, of course! Like every other volume in the FAQ series, Elton John FAQ is overflowing with enlightening data, compact histories, rare photographs and period ephemera, all organized into chapters equally suitable for a straight-through read or random perusal. Gibson touches on every major episode from Sir Elton's life, from his humble, and at times disheartening, childhood in the North London suburb of Pinner to his serendipitous meeting with lyricist Bernie Taupin, with whom he'd form a songwriting partnership that would ultimately rank alongside Lennon and McCartney in its success, and beyond. Scrutinizing the highs and lows of a life crammed with musical phases and sartorial changes, the book underscores not only the renowned musician's talents, but the truth behind tales that are familiar only to diehard fans.
Dave Matthews Band celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2016, a milestone few bands achieve. How did the group build and retain an audience so devoted that they stuck with DMB through more than a quarter century? Dave Matthews Band FAQ answers this question and many more, exploring the group’s history in detail from a variety of angles. Natives of the college rock circuit of the southern Atlantic seaboard, DMB became part of a close-knit group of similarly minded jam bands that spread across the USA during the 1990s. Thanks to a grassroots following that eagerly traded tapes of live DMB shows, the band cultivated a dedicated fan base that crossed over into the mainstream. Dave Matthews Band FAQ traces this evolution, documenting the culture of Charlottesville, Virginia, at the dawn of the ’90s, detailing the group’s peers and examining their catalog, both live and studio, in detail. Collectively, these chapters explain everything there is to know about the most popular jam band in history.
No American television show of the past decade has been vilified as has Comedy Central’s South Park. This is the show that has featured, in turn, a nine-year-old boy enmeshed in an affair with Ben Affleck, a maniacal Mel Gibson smearing feces everywhere, and the misadventures of Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, a talking, bouncing, singing piece of poop. While it’s not always an exercise in good taste, South Park is a socially significant satire that has also devoted entire episodes to interpretations of Great Expectations, Ken Burns’ Civil War, and Hamlet. This volume explores the popularity and cultural relevance of South Park and its place as an artistically and politically worthy satire.