Just Off, Stage Right

A memoir

…Bonanni keeps you entertained and engaged with stories that continually surprise.

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Book Summary

Just Off, Stage Right

“…Bonanni keeps you entertained and engaged with stories that continually surprise. He is a wonderful guide on this unique journey backstage. You don’t know what you don’t know until you read these wonderful stories by the man who was there.”—B. Jeffrey Madoff, Author, “Creative Careers,” Theatre Producer, “Personality, the Lloyd Price Musical”


“Bonanni bleeds greasepaint. This book reveals a love affair and passion for those who have dedicated themselves to both the show and its business…” —Rob Schiller, Emmy Award-winning Director, Professor, USC School of Cinematic Arts


“Author John Bonanni’s writing vividly captures the soul of the “Showplace of the Nation” – accurately describing the majestic and awe-inspiring landmark’s beauty while perfectly bringing to life the passion and the humanity of the people who make Radio City so magical…” —Kent Fritzel, Executive Vice President, Creative American Christmas


“He walked the walk, which gives him every right to talk the talk. At RCMH, when the inmates ran the asylum, Bonanni was the only adult in the room…—Eric Titcomb, Master Electrician & Chief of Stage Elevator Operations, Radio City Music Hall


“John Bonanni creates nostalgia for a bygone slice of Americana in Just Off, Stage Right. More than just a theatre story, John stirs a curiosity for a world few of us know anything about. If you’ve ever wanted to enter through the stage door, this is the way in.” —Ron Farina, Author, “Who Will Have My Back?”


“…John’s anecdotes and insider’s view provide for a unique, behind the scenes peek into the theater world.”—Fred Schwam, former Owner and CEO, American Christmas, Inc.


John spent a career in the theatre at MSG Entertainment, on Broadway, and on tour. He was the Executive Producer of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and served as Resident Stage Manager for over 1000 concerts and events. He produced Under Fire at the New York Music Theatre Festival and Moolah at 777 Stages. In Colorado, he produced Hands on a Hot Pick Up at BDT. His articles have appeared in Adelaide Magazine, Poor Yorick Journal, the San Antonio Review, and the Raven’s Perch. He holds an MFA in Creative and Professional Writing from Western Connecticut State University.

What readers say about the book🧐

A bad stage manager can kill a show's morale. A weak stage manager can defeat the efforts of an entire theatrical company. The good ones are a blessing. John Bonanni is that godsend, that blessing: a great stage manager. An artist of the theatre. A skilled technician. A steady leader. And something of a healer. His love for the theatre and for its people, flaws and all, comes through in every realistic moment and empathetic anecdote of this beautifully written book. He is also very funny, another invaluable attribute anywhere but especially Just Off, Stage Right. Beware any stage manager who looks down on actors. Be grateful for the ones who quietly, firmly, and patiently create the space for creativity, a safe place for the individual in a group, and a happy backstage family. Mr. Bonanni has had a remarkable life in the theatre, built on honesty, compassion, dedication, know-how, and firm integrity. He has a good story to tell and tells it memorably. Bravo, Mr. B.

Kevin Dearinger

(Amazon Review)
About the Author

John Bonanni

John spent a theatrical management career on Broadway, at Radio City, and on tour. “Just Off, Stage Right” is his latest non-fiction work. His essays have appeared in the San Antonio Review, the Raven’s Perch, and Adelaide Literary Journal. He is working on a baby boomer anthology entitled, “Pay No Attention to the Last Century”, a reflective look at truth and reckoning.

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…Bonanni keeps you entertained and engaged with stories that continually surprise.

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