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BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY Book - The Neil Simon Theatre

November 8
5:41 PM 2013

BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY Book - The Neil Simon TheatreTo celebrate the publication of The Untold Stories of Broadway on November 12 by Dress Circle Publishing, Jennifer Ashley Tepper will be sharing three short excerpts about each of the Broadway theaters featured in the book-countdown style! Today: The Neil Simon Theatre!

THE UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY: Tales from the World's Most Famous Theaters, Volume 1 (Dress Circle Publishing. 350 pages, $19.99) by author and musical theater historian Jennifer Ashley Tepper is the first book to recount the backstage drama of Broadway's greatest shows at eight iconic theaters. To pre-order, click here.

Using firsthand accounts from some of the biggest names in Broadway history, the book provides a look behind the curtains of the Al Hirschfield, August Wilson, Lyceum, Mark Hellinger, Marquis, Neil Simon, Richard Rodgers, and Winter Garden Theaters.

This book is the first in a multi-volume series that will examine 40 legendary Broadway theaters in total. THE UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY also includes an exclusive Broadway theater map designed by Broadway artist, Justin "Squigs" Robertson. A portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit Broadway Impact, an organization of theater artists and fans mobilized in support of marriage equality. It will be available on and in select bookstores on November 12, in both hard copy and Kindle.

Did You Know:

BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY Book - The Neil Simon TheatreEverybody really did "rise!" for Elaine Stritch in Company?

Ann Morrison, Actor

We sat up in the mezzanine for Company, and I was absolutely enthralled to be getting to see a real, live professional play of this nature. It was spectacular. I'd been listening to Sondheim for so many years; I had danced around to West Side Story at age seven in my living room. So I was sitting there in the mezzanine, and my family and I were loving it. When the show got to "Ladies Who Lunch" and Elaine Stritch sang, "Everybody rise! Rise! Rise!" a bunch of people in the theater stood up and we did too. We were absolutely spellbound.

Did You Know:

BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY Book - The Neil Simon TheatreFive shows in a row at the Alvin Theatre played a total of 27 performances?

Annie had played at the Alvin for more than four years, when it was booted to make room for Merrily We Roll Along. The orphans packed their bags and moved across the street to the ANTA, where they were still playing for the first three weeks of Merrily previews.

The next five shows at the Alvin after Annie played a total of 27 performances. They were Merrily We Roll Along (16 performances), The Little Prince and the Aviator (closed in previews), Little Johnny Jones (one), Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? (five), and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (five). At the time the fifth show closed, Annie was still packing them in at the larger Uris (Gershwin) Theatre.

Did You Know:

Merrily We Roll Along truly did prepare young people for their adult lives?

Tonya Pinkins, Actor

BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY Book - The Neil Simon TheatreThe first Broadway show that I ever saw was Sweeney Todd. It was extraordinary. It's still one of my favorite shows. That chorus, the music, the orchestra, and the story... that's my kind of story, a thriller. And that big, beautiful sound. A real, full, complete orchestra which you don't get often anymore.

It was miraculous and a dream come true to have admired Hal and Steve and then to have my first time on Broadway be with them. I got Merrily while I was away at college at Carnegie Mellon. It was over the Christmas break that I auditioned.

On opening night of Merrily, George Furth gave us all a picture. I remember opening mine, reading what he'd written on it, and putting it away. Then all of a sudden, Maryrose Wood opened hers and just started cracking up. She read hers out loud. It said, "You are by far the best one in the show." Then, everybody brought their pictures up-and he had written the exact same thing on every one!

I was in the chorus essentially, but we got gifts! I remember getting a big bottle of champagne and incredible gifts that came to us from people I didn't know. They don't do that anymore. I haven't had that, even starring in a show.

There was just a feeling that I can't... it was a dream in many ways, even though everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. I feel like, in that sense, it totally prepared me for the rest of my career. There was nothing that could happen ever again in a show that... it was like, "Yeah, and what else?" Been there, done that.

To pre-order, click here. Founded in 2011 by Brisa Trinchero and Roberta Pereira, Dress Circle Publishing is the only publisher dedicated solely to producing books with Broadway themes. Dress Circle Publishing is eager to discover and promote new literary voices among new or established authors who are actively working in show business. For more information on Dress Circle Publishing, click here.

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