With Further Ado #261: I’ll Drink to That!

Readers of this column might know Professor Larry Maslon from the PBS documentary, and book, Superheroes! A Never-Ending Battle Documentary or his book Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture. (And to be fair, he worked closely with his partner, Michael Kantor, on each effort.) Or maybe you saw him moderate panels at San Diego Comic-Con. If you were really lucky, you may have enjoyed our epic round of Superhero trivia (and his book signing) at the Captain Action booth at New York Comic-Con a few years ago.

But this week, I want to celebrate his new book I’ll Drink To That.

In addition to being a comic expert, Larry is also an expert on Broadway Musicals. As our mutual pal Steve Rotterdam often noted, this just made Larry get beaten up twice in school growing up. I love to listen to his weekly show, Broadway to Main Street, the show that pulls back the curtain on classic musicals.

This gorgeous new book is a marriage of Broadway knowledge and cocktail mixology. It’s smart, witty and beautifully designed. The cocktail photos, by Joan Marcus, are mouthwateringly stunning.

Here’s the official promo copy:

We’d like to propose a toast…to Broadway! Learn the spirited history of drinking on stage (and off) and how to make cocktails inspired by the most iconic shows from Broadway.

Broadway has always raised a glass to celebrate itself—what’s an opening night without popping the cork of a bottle of Champagne? I’ll Drink to That! Broadway’s Legendary Stars, Classic Shows, and the Cocktails They Inspired is a celebration of theatrical tradition, a souvenir of magic moments on stage, and a practical guide to concocting one-of-a-kind craft cocktail recipes inspired by the classics of the American stage.

I’ll Drink to That! expertly mixes clever cocktails that pay homage to unforgettable Broadway shows–such as the Rainbow High from Evita and the Sidecar Named Desire–with authentic recipes for drinks that played supporting roles in beloved shows–like the legendary Vodka Stinger from Company–and shakes it up with a history of the cocktail on Broadway, detailed by one of the leading musical theater historians, Laurence Maslon.

Featured throughout are fantastic images—from intoxicating images of classic shows to portraits of effervescent stage celebrities to vintage liquor ads featuring Broadway stars. Of course, the drinks themselves get their own spotlight, photographed by the legendary Broadway photographer Joan Marcus at the iconic Sardi’s restaurant, home to hundreds of opening nights over the past century.

Larry Maslon does have a few easter eggs for comic fans. He mentions that old Superman musical, It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman!, and showcases a beautiful photo of The Riddler himself, Frank Gorshin from the old Batman 66 TV show, in a forgotten musical, 1969’s Jimmy. Gorshin played Mayor James J. Walker in the so-short-it’s-trivia-question run of that production.

The curtains about to open and Happy Hour is upon us! And even if neither of those things are true, this book is still highly recommend.

You can listen to his episode of Broadway to Main Street that focused on the book here. link to the episode

A Curious Case of Super!

My babysitter still brings me gifts.

Yes, I know that sounds nuts. A few years ago, in classic Welcome Back Kotter style, I returned to my hometown. It’s been way better than I ever expected. One of the many unexpected pleasures has been getting to know my old babysitter, who still lives in my hometown.

She remembered what a bookworm I was (and still am), and since she runs an annual Booksale at her church, she’s always on the lookout for books that I would like. Last week she dropped of an oddball children’s book featuring Superman. It featured the version of Superman from the 2006 movie, Superman Returns. And it created an animated style for the movie, even though there never was an animated translation of this particular movie.

This strange book is kind of like a glimpse into one of DC’s many alternate worlds, where Superman Returns was a hit and spawned a cartoon and merchandise. Brandon Routh, the actor who played Superman in that one, seems like such nice guy – I kind of wish it did find its audience back then.

I hope your babysitters are still this nice to you.