Theatre Communications Group (TCG) has announced the availability of Great Moments in the Theatre by Benedict Nightingale, published by Oberon Books (London). Starting with the first performance of Aeschylus' The Oresteia in 458 BC and ending with the premiere of Jez Butterworth's Jerusalem in London of 2009 AD, former New York Times critic and chief theatre critic of the Times (London) for over 20 years, Benedict Nightingale collects in one volume what he extols as the greatest moments in theatre.
Each informative and engaging entry is between 650 and 850 words in length and covers a remarkable diversity of theatrical openings and events ? many of historical interest and significance ? including a multitude witnessed by Nightingale himself during his fifty-year career in theatrical criticism. The plays and productions that Nightingale concisely and authoritatively brings alive range from Dustin Hoffman's star-turn in Death of a Salesman to Macready's Macbeth (1849) which induced over 20,000 people to riot in New York; from the boundary-breaking A Raisin in the Sun (1959) to Arthur Miller's McCarthyite The Crucible (1953) and from Synge's Playboy of the Western World (1907), which provoked serious riots in Dublin, to Lionel Bart's Twang!! (1965), the notoriously disastrous musical.
Benedict Nightingale is a British journalist and former chief theatre critic for the Times (London). He has also written for the Guardian, New Statesman and New York Times. His previous books include Fifth Row Center: A Critic's Year on and off Broadway (Times Books), a diary of the 1983-84 season on Broadway which he spent exclusively working as a reviewer for the New York Times.