The American Theatre Wing’s centennial book, American Theatre Wing, an Oral History: 100 Years, 100 Voices, 100 Million Miracles (Graphic Arts Books; edited by Patrick Pacheco), released today and offers a fascinating cornucopia of untold lore and never-before-seen photos as prismatic and unexpected as the theater itself.
In 1943, a wounded soldier aided by a cane limped into the Stage Door Canteen, the American Theatre Wing’s fabled New York club created to entertain the allied forces. Two hours later, he was said to have left with a spring in his step—and without the cane. This “miracle” is just one of many recounted in the lavish book.
The other miracles are more commonplace, if no less remarkable, told by the impassioned artists and theater advocates who created and sustained this preeminent theatrical organization, including Angela Lansbury, Rosie O’Donnell, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Harold Prince, Kenny Leon, Neil Patrick Harris, David Henry Hwang, Harvey Fierstein, and James Corden. These oral histories trace the American Theatre Wing’s dedication to supporting and fostering American theater and the burgeoning and veteran artists in their stories—from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater.
Patrick Pacheco is a journalist and Emmy-winning commentator whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Esquire.com. Pacheco contributed to the 2005 Broadway musical Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, and co-wrote with Maria Cassi the play My Life with Men…and Other Animals. He also wrote the 2010 Disney documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty. He appears on NY1’s “On Stage” and Public Television’s “Theater Talk.”