In his new book, "Showstoppers! The Surprising Backstage Stories of Broadway's Most Remarkable Songs," critic Gerald Nachman draws on in-depth interviews with icons of musical theater to explore what makes certain songs "knock us out" and send audiences home humming. These tunes "often become a vital part of Americana, firmly lodged in the country's collective memory" he writes. We talk with Nachman about his favorite hits, his 50 years as a theater critic and what worries him about today's musicals.
What Makes a Broadway Tune a Showstopper
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People walk past souviners of Broadway plays in Times Square on May 27, 2015 in New York City. (Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Gerald Nachman, former critic and columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; columnist, New York Daily News; author, "Showstoppers!: The Surprising Backstage Stories of Broadway's Most Remarkable Songs"