April 13, 2023

Episode 104: The Abbott Touch — The Theatre of George Abbott, part 1.

Episode 104: The Abbott Touch — The Theatre of George Abbott, part 1.

With author Thomas Hischak

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My guest this week is author Thomas Hischak whose new book is titled:

The Abbott Touch — Pal Joey, Damn Yankees and the theatre of George Abbott.

For more than 60 years — from 1913 to 1994 — George Abbott was a major force on Broadway. As an actor, director, playwright, bookwriter, play doctor, and producer he applied his famous "touch" to more than 100 plays and musicals from Rodgers & Hart’s On Your Toes to Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum.

Remarkably, this is the first book to take a deep dive into Abbott’s work and career and to analyze what he did, how he worked, what he contributed, what innovations he brought to Broadway, and how he stayed at the top of his field for so long? 

And, of course, the most fundamental question of all: What exactly was that famous “Abbott Touch”?

Thomas Hischak is the author of more than 30 books about Broadway, Hollywood, and popular music including The Oxford Companion To The American Musical, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Encyclopedia, and Broadway Decoded: Musical Theatre’s Forgotten References.

And as you will hear, he is a delight to talk to about Broadway!

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