BROADWAY PRODUCER, UH PROF OSTROW’S
AMONG YEAR’S TOP BOOKS
HOUSTON, March 6, 2007 – Tony Award-winning producer Stuart
Ostrow has long helped tell stories on Broadway. Recently, his own
story was celebrated as one of the best of 2006.
The University of Houston Distinguished University Professor of
Theatre chronicled his career on the Great White Way in “Present
at the Creation, Leaping in the Dark, Going Against the Grain: 1776,
Pippin, M. Butterfly, La Bête and Other Broadway Adventures.”
The book recently was selected by Booklist, the magazine of the
American Library Association, as one of the top 10 arts books of
Never at a loss for humor, Ostrow recounted the challenges of
writing about one’s life and career.
“Telling the truth. Sharing the credit. Nailing the bad guys.
Admitting your mistakes,” he said.
In Booklist’s review of “Present at the Creation,”
critic Jack Helbig applauded Ostrow’s work, particularly his
sharp memory and ability to deliver vivid details about colleagues.
“He would rather dissect a show to reveal what makes it a
hit than eviscerate a colleague. That will disappoint some, but
true fans of the Broadway musical will find this book more intellectually
satisfying and nutritious than many another on their passion,”
In his book, Ostrow applauded many of the mavericks with whom he
collaborated and discussed a producer’s ultimate responsibilities
with regard to helping deliver a quality stage performance.
“He must have a vision of what the show is about and the
talent and erudition to convince the creators to remain on course
and remember why they were initially excited about their concept,”
Ostrow oversees the Musical Theatre Collaboration and Musical Theatre
Lab (MTL) classes in the UH School of Theatre & Dance. He founded
the Musical Theatre Lab in 1973 at St. Clement’s Church in
New York City. It was later developed at the Kennedy Center and
Harvard College before it arrived at UH in 1995. During its tenure
in New York, the lab hosted workshops featuring the talents of playwright
Arthur Miller, singer Carol King and avant-garde dramatist Robert
“Since its inception, the Musical Theatre Lab produced some
40 experimental musicals, some distinguished, yet all dedicated
to creators seeing how far they could take their work, as opposed
to seeing how much they could make from it,” wrote Ostrow
in “Present at the Creation.”
Ostrow received Tony awards for “1776” as Best Musical
in 1969 and “M. Butterfly” as Best Play in 1988 and
England’s Olivier Award for “La Bête” as
Comedy of the Year in 1992. He also has produced Tony nominees “Pippin”
and “The Apple Tree,” in which he collaborated with
Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, Mike Nichols, Bob Fosse and Stephen
Previous books written by Ostrow include “A Broadway Producer’s
Journey” and “Thank You Very Much: The Little Guide
to Auditioning for the Musical Theater” and “How to
Audition for Musical Theater II: Finding the Song.” He is
working on a new book, “Academic Theatre.”
“Present at the Creation” was published in 2006 by
Applause Books. For more details on the book, visit http://www.applausepub.com/index.jsp.
“This book is definitely one of the most valuable sources
of information regarding the theater industry,” said Sidney
Berger, director of the UH School of Theatre & Dance. “Stuart’s
stories come out of his vast experience on Broadway and extraordinary
insight, which he now passes on to our students.”
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
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in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
For more information about UH visit
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