Theatre Poster Art Takes Center Stage by Robin Gorman Newman


As you may already know, if you regularly read my blog, I am a HUGE theatre lover.  I go often, have produced, worked on a promotional level with shows, written reviews, profiled thespians, studied playwriting and am now developing an Off Broadway musical.   So, it was especially interesting to attend a book party for the warm, welcoming and much beloved iconic Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo, an award-winning designer of poster art for countless shows…impressive work, to say the least…and to get an inside peak at what it takes to create a poster that captures the essence of a show. If you think about it, even before you read a review of a show or hear some buzz , there is the poster art for it, working on drawing you in and inspiring you to purchase a ticket.  And, it takes great skill and strategic artistry to design one that truly pops from the crowd and calls to you.

 The hard-cover, 208 page book, published by Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., is simply stunning and a must-have gift for any theatre lover. Titled Fraver by Design: Five Decades of Theatre Poster Art from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Beyond, it would make a statement on any coffee table, desk or shelf of Broadway and Off Broadway fans.

From The Lion King to Moose Murders and from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Agatha Christieʼs The Mousetrap,  Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo has created more than 300 theatre poster designs from Broadway, Off-Broadway, and around the globe.

For the first time in his five-decade career, this monograph collection takes the reader behind-the-scenes into the world of theatrical advertising through a rare look at 40 unpublished poster sketches for some of Broadway’s favorite shows, hilarious career anecdotes, and commentary from theatre icons, including Bernadette Peters, Dean Pitchford, and Jack Viertel. More than 20 of Fraverʼs poster designs for the works of Stephen Sondheim are spotlighted, as well as those created for Rodgers & Hammerstein, The Kennedy Center, and New York City Centerʼs Encores! series.

To celebrate, Sofitel New York, where the book cocktail party was held, the official hotel of The Tony Awards, has transformed its lobby into the Fraver Art Gallery, showcasing the art of Broadway.  On display through June 30, you can visit and see 39 works by Mr. Verlizzo.  Included are posters of Tony Award-winning productions such as Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, and The Lion King.

Whether you are a tourist or New Yorker, you might want to include a visit to the Sofitel in your NY plans.

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