From the Introduction to Acting Songs:
"The great performing artists of the musical theater, including Gwen Verdon, Bert Lahr, Julie Andrews, Barbara Cook, Richard Kiley, Liza Minelli, Betty Buckley, Bernadette Peters, and Mandy Patinkin have all had something in common - not only have they all been accomplished to varying degrees as singers and dancers, but they've all been organic actors. They've all used their own deep, personal idiosyncratic inner lives in their work, and that's why people respond to them so powerfully. They reveal their deepest feelings, needs and vulnerabilities in their performances, and that's interesting. There is nothing more moving than truth. It's compelling and ultimately a healing experience to watch performers really live on stage and screen. That's the kind of work I care about and that's the kind of work this book is aimed at generating."
Excerpts from Acting Songs by David Brunetti
Quotes from interviews with people in the musical theater industry (composers, lyricists, producers, directors, choreographers, musical directors, talent agents, casting directors, critics, etc. Quotes are sprinkled throughout the book)
"I'm always looking for an honesty, a truthfulness." -Scott Ellis, Director
"When singers are not being truthful about the lryic in terms of themselves and their own psyche, they don't sing as well. You have to bring your psyche and your history and baggage to the lyric."
"I always look for individuality and people who dance, sing, and act with character. It's always about the acting. Always. I'm not impressed by empty triple turns, by empty high E's. I'm not impressed by technique. I'm just not. I will hire somebody with less technique and more emotional connection, or more individual acting sensibility in their dance or in their song. That's always more interesting and exciting to me." -Rob Marshall, Director/Choreographer
"When you sing, yes, show your voice, but put the lyric first." -Joseph Church, Musical Director/Composer
"It's always wonderful to hear perfect notes, but I think it's more important to see a character come alive. The essence of theater for me is when the words that you're speaking seem as if you're speaking them for the first time." -Stephen Flaherty, Composer