An evening with author & producer Jack Viertel

6/20/2016 Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA / South End

The Huntington Theatre Company presents a free reading and discussion with author and producer Jack Viertel at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA on Monday, June 20 at 7:30pm, moderated by Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. A New York Times bestseller, The Secret Life of the American Musical is an insider’s look at the anatomy of a Broadway musical. Viertel writes about what he learned over the course of his career, including his observations about the egotists, geniuses, and workaday professionals who have sustained this unique American art form. 


For almost 30 years, Jack Viertel has been a major figure in the Broadway theatre world ― helping create shows such as Hairspray, Angels in America, and Into the Woods; serving as the artistic director of the City Center Encores! Series; and is currently the senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters.


“The book offers a fresh way to look at familiar musicals – to break them down, pull them apart and examine more closely the structural elements that make them strong.” – Robin Pogrebin, The New York Times

“Thoroughly interesting. Viertel marshals plenty of examples to support his thesis, and his arguments are clear and engaging even when focused on obscure elements. There’s just something very pleasant about reading someone intelligently and affectionately look at what make a show tick, beat by choreographed beat.” – The A.V. Club

“Viertel is lively, deeply informed, and irrepressibly enthusiastic.” – Kirkus Reviews

“An invaluable addition to the musical theatre bookshelf for its cogent analysis and personal perspectives from a Broadway veteran.” – DC Metro Theatre Arts

“His close analysis of craft doubles nicely as an account of the American musical’s evolution over the past century. Viertel’s knowledgeable, engaging blueprint of that framework is instructive fun for cognoscenti and general readers alike.” – Washington Post

“Creators of musicals will find that heeding Viertel’s ‘secrets’ will provide their work with clarity, definition and entertainment value, among other elements that are all-too-frequently lacking.” – Huffington Post


Jack Viertel is the artistic director of the City Center Encores! series and is currently the senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters which owns and operates five Broadway theatres. He previously served at the resident dramaturg at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles and is a former critic of The Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is a graduate of Harvard University and currently teaches musical theatre at New York University.

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