Live Like a Nominee: 24 Books Recommended By Broadway’s Biggest Talents
Need a book recommendation? The 2018 Drama Desk and Tony Award nominees share with us the titles they love.
When they’re not onstage or behind the scenes, theatre professionals search for inspiration everywhere—especially great reads. We asked the 2018 Drama Desk and Tony Award nominees to tell us about the books they’re reading. Before you hit the beach this summer, take a book recommendation from your favorite Broadway star.
Read: PLAYBILL MIXTAPE: LIVE LIKE A NOMINEE AND LISTEN TO THE SONGS THEY KEEP ON LOOP
Don’t forget to keep eyes on Playbill June 3 to find out who takes home the Drama Desks and tune in to CBS June 10 for the 72nd Annual Tony Awards.
Read the full list of 2018 Drama Desk Award nominees here.
Read the full list of 2018 Tony Award nominees here.
Nejla Yatkin, Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Choreography, The Boy Who Danced On Air: “I recently read One Hundred Years of Solitude [by Gabriel García Marquez]. I read it in German some time ago, then I wanted to read it again in English. Also, Love in the Time of Cholera.”
Christopher Gattelli, Drama Desk nominee for Choreography for SpongeBob SquarePants and Tony nominee for Choreography for SpongeBob SquarePants and My Fair Lady: “Little Fires Everywhere [by Celeste Ng]. So good.”
Evan Ruggiero, Drama Desk nominee for Actor in a Musical for Bastard Jones: “I have gone back to the Harry Potter series, just because there is all this new hype with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Going back is fun!”
Denise Gough, Drama Desk nominee for Actress in a Play for People, Places & Things and Tony nominee for Featured Actress in a Play for Angels in America: “A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. That’s the best book I’ve ever read, I think.”
Jelani Alladin, Drama Desk nominee for Actor in a Musical for Frozen: “My friend Grant [Ginder] wrote a book called The People We Hate at the Wedding. Actually, Patti Murin and I shared that book.”
Joshua Henry, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Actor in a Musical for Carousel: “Tinker Dabble Doodle Try. It’s by Srini Pillay and it’s about having unfocused time, where you draw and doodle and let your brain drift away from tasks and that helps you be much more creative. It’s helped me.”
Sean Carvajal, Special Drama Desk Award for Jesus Hopped the A Train: “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”
Harry Hadden-Paton, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Actor in a Musical for My Fair Lady: “I’m in the middle of reading A Little Life, which is huge. It’s wonderful. It’s slightly bleak, but it’s set in New York and it’s filling a lot of my head at the moment.”
Juan Castano, Recipient of the Drama Desk’s Sam Norkin Award: “The Inner Game of Tennis [by Timothy Gallwey]. It was written in the 1970s. It’s about concentration, essentially. About how actually trying hard gets in the way.”
Kenita R. Miller, Drama Desk nominee for Featured Actress in a Musical for Once on This Island: “A Wrinkle in Time [by Madeleine L’Engle].”
James McArdle, Drama Desk nominee for Actor in a Play for Angels in America: “I’ve absolutely loved Sapiens [by Uval Noah Harari]. It’s really really good.”
Read: 15 THEATRE-RELATED READS OUT IN SPRING 2018
Camille A. Brown, Drama Desk nominee for Choreography for Once on This Island: “I’m reading Tiffany Haddish’s book [The Last Black Unicorn].”
Dane Laffrey, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Scenic Design of a Musical for Once on This Island: “The Island Dwellers by Jen Silverman.”
Carrie Coon, Drama Desk nominee for Actress in a Play for Mary Jane: “A Little Life. It’s an amazing book.”
Kyle Jarrow, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Book of a Musical for SpongeBob SquarePants: “My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk.”
Max Vernon, Drama Desk nominee for Outstanding Music for KPOP: “I just read this incredible book called Leatherman about this guy Chuck Renslow [by Tracy Baim]. He started the first gay bathhouse in Chicago in the ’60s.”
Grey Henson, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Featured Actor in a Musical for Mean Girls: “Right now I’m reading Stephen King’s Joyland.”
Anthony Boyle, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Featured Actor in a Play for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two: ““The Gospel According to Blindboy [by Blindboy Boatclub].”
Ethan Slater, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Actor in a Musical for SpongeBob SquarePants: “Fates and Furies [by Lauren Groff].”
The Bengsons, Drama Desk nominees for Outstanding Music for The Lucky Ones: “The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. We just both finished it and so inspired. It’s this incredible memoir, essay, personal piece about identity and gender and parenting and the world. It’s just an incredible piece.”
Gavin Lee, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Featured Actor in a Musical for SpongeBob SquarePants: “My favorite book—I read it quite a while ago, I’ve read it twice—is The Devil in the White City [by Erik Larson]. Why that hasn’t been made into a movie yet... It’s so good. It’s set in Chicago at the World’s Fair. I loved it.
Alexander Gemignani, Drama Desk and Tony nominee for Featured Actor in a Musical for Carousel: “It’s called Evidence of Things Unseen by Marianne Wiggins. Not something I would typically read, but it’s romance and got some science to it. I’m a huge Stephen King guy, but I like to break him up with some other things and a really good friend of mine recommended this book. I could not put it down. It was amazing and devastating.”
LaChanze, Tony nominee for Leading Actress in a Musicl for Summer: The Donna Summer Musical: “Swing Time by Zadie Smith.”
Laurie Metcalf, Drama Desk nominee for Actress in a Play and Tony nominee for Featured Actress in a Play for Three Tall Women: “Right now I’m reading The Eighth Day [by Dianne K. Salerni]. Alison Pill gave it to me.”
Ari’el Statchel, Tony nominee for Featured Actor in a Musical for The Band’s Visit: “The Fox Hunt [by Mohammed Al Samawi] about this guy’s escape from Yemen. That was really interesting.”
Taylor Louderman, Tony nominee for Leading Actress in a Musical for Mean Girls: “Give and Take by Adam Grant.”
Lauren Ridloff, Tony nominee for Leading Actress in a Play for Children of a Lesser God: “Zadie Smith’s book Swing Time. I just love how Smith doesn’t feel like she needs to apologize for her characters’ vulnerabilities. It’s the same way that I don’t need to apologize for who Sarah is onstage. I really relate to it.”