Playbill Senior Editor Louis Botto, who has been covering the theatrical scene for decades, makes a rare appearance at the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble on Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 PM.
One of Broadway's master storytellers, and possessor of a memory filled to brimming with theatre lore, Botto will be on hand to celebrate the release of his newly updated edition of "At This Theatre: Playbill's 100 Years of Broadway Shows, Stories and Stars," which is flying off bookshelves and may soon enter a second printing.
During the evening at Barnes & Noble — from 7 to 8 PM — Botto will recount some of the many stories depicted in the revised and expanded version of his famed book. Attendees can expect to hear the noted writer discuss some of his favorite luminaries: Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Tallulah Bankhead, Katharine Hepburn and more, most of whom he knew.
Playbill Broadcast Program Director Robert Viagas, who edited "At This Theatre," will also take part in the evening, which is free and open to the public. This is one of Botto's final appearances, so the interested public is advised to arrive early. Barnes & Noble is located near Lincoln Center at 1972 Broadway.
The reading and talk will last from 20 to 30 minutes. This will be followed by Q&A, then the signing. There will also be a drawing for a pair of Man of La Mancha tickets. The revival stars Brian Stokes Mitchell, who wrote a introduction to "At This Theatre." The ultimate backstage tour of Broadway, "At This Theatre" (Applause Books) is a complete history of Broadway theatre in the twentieth century. The revised version of "At This Theatre" features more than 400 illustrations: production photographs, Playbill covers, souvenir books, sheet music and drawings.
Born in Union City, NJ, Botto contributed lyrics and revue sketches to such shows as New Faces and Shoestring Revue. He was a senior editor at Look magazine for the final ten years of that publications life, and has written for the New York Times Magazine, The Daily News Magazine and Ladies Home Journal. He has been a senior editor of Playbill since the 1980s.
—By Andrew Gans