Other Sites

Joy Ride

Show People and Their Shows

John Lahr (Author)

Overview | Formats

“Lahr creates a book worthy of its title: It is a living celebration of theater itself.”—Caryn James, New York Times Book Review

Joy Ride throws open the stage door and introduces readers to such makers of contemporary drama as Arthur Miller, Tony Kushner, Wallace Shawn, Harold Pinter, David Rabe, David Mamet, Mike Nichols, and August Wilson. Lahr takes us to the cabin in the woods that Arthur Miller built in order to write Death of a Salesman; we walk with August Wilson through the Pittsburgh ghetto where we encounter the inspiration for his great cycle; we sit with Ingmar Bergman at the Kunglinga Theatre in Stockholm, where he attended his first play; we visit with Harold Pinter at his London home and learn the source of the feisty David Mamet’s legendary ear for dialogue.

In its juxtaposition of biographical detail and critical analysis, Joy Ride explores with insight and panache not only the lives of the theatricals but the liveliness of the stage worlds they have created.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35323-5
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 592 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverJoy Ride: Show People and Their Shows


Endorsements & Reviews

“Chatty, learned and wittily opinionated, Lahr’s essays bring us not only his passion for theater, but also his zest for the artistic and creative life.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“Incisive, exuberant…. Lahr’s vivid reportage, trenchant insight, and infectious love of the stage will remind readers just how exciting modern theater can be.” — Publishers Weekly

“An exuberant, entertaining collection.” — Kirkus Reviews

“An important collection.” — Steven Suskin, Huffington Post

“John Lahr writes—beautifully—about the theatre and those who make it with an unrivalled blend of enthusiasm, perception, and analytical precision. This book is justly titled—his joy is irresistible.” — Nicholas Hytner

“Lahr patiently mines the essence of his subjects—playwrights, directors—with the affection of a fan, the insight of a confidant and the authorial flair of an experienced critic…a delight to read.” — The Economist

“100 years from now this is where people will look to see what it was like back then. Bravo!” — John Guare

“Informed, wide ranging, and charming…the pieces are, without exception, captivating. A must for theatergoers and theater collections.” — Mark Levine, Booklist

“Lahr…must be one of the world’s foremost experts on “show people”….[he has] an ability to look past these authors’ mythologies without demeaning their achievements.” — Jonathan Russell Clark, Literary Hub

“Anyone interested in the history of the American theater and contemporary drama will applaud these thoughtful and critical pieces.” — Carolyn M. Mulac, Library Journal

“Engaging and loquacious company.” — The Guardian

“Impressive, entertaining and insightful…so worth reading or worth reading a second time around.” — Michelle Jones, Dallas Morning News

Also by John Lahr All

  1. Book CoverTennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh


All Subjects