BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY Book - The Richard Rodgers Theatre
To 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! First up: The Richard Rodgers 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 amazon.com and in select bookstores on November 12, in both hard copy and Kindle.
Did You Know:
All through the years, companies working at the Richard Rodgers and Imperial Theatres have bonded during their time together on 45th and 46th Street?
Tim Pettolina, House Manager
"We have a bond with the Imperial Theater because it's right next door. Our stage doors are next to each other. During the time of Billy Elliot and In the Heights, it seemed like everyone got to know someone working on the other show, and we'd go back and forth meeting for dinners and drinks after shows. A lot of us are still friends."
For nearly two years, Chicago was at the 46th Street Theatre while Fosse's Pippin was playing the Imperial next door. A small alleyway connecting the two theaters allowed the dancers to run back and forth and watch each other's shows.
Did You Know:
Dinty Moore's on 46th Street was a favorite hang-out for the theater crowd. An upper end Irish joint, it was located just next to the 46th Street Theatre, a spot now occupied by the breezeway of the Marriott Marquis.
The owner was James Moore, and the place was first called "James Moore's." Then, restaurant regular George McManus penned the comic strip Life With Father, featuring an Irish tavern owner named Dinty Moore. James Loved this presumable tribute, and changed the name of his venue.
In the 1920s, Dinty Moore's was the place to go for hooch, as the restaurant paid no mind to Prohibition. Over the years, the place was populated by everyone from Walter Winchell to Will Rogers to Audrey Hepburn to Frank Sinatra to Judy Garland.
Not only was Dinty Moore's frequented by the theatrical cognoscenti, Damon Runyon was also a regular. Police raids and unsavory dealings were frequent there during his time, which is especially poignant given that Runyon's Guys and Dolls would open next door at the 46th Street Theatre, years later.
Dinty Moore's closed in the early 1970s, shortly after a change in ownership. The last crowd to spend time there was the No No Nanette cast, after performances next door. Talk about nostalgia.
Did You Know:
The Richard Rodgers is one of only two Broadway houses with a raked audience?
Maury Yeston, Writer
When we went into the 46th Street Theatre with Nine, I was a complete novice, but Tommy Tune, of course, was not. Tune said to me, "It's the 46th Street. It's the only one. It's the best one. It's the perfect theater for this show." In fact, he said, "It's the perfect theater for a musical," and he cited that Guys and Dolls had played there.
The reason is that the theater has this perfect sweep up. It's this perfect raked audience, and it allows the music to just blow off the stage and knock the audience through the back wall. It is that exciting. Before I even walked through the door, I knew it as a legendary theater.
I still get a wonderful feeling every time I walk into it. I'm the kind of author who gets to know everybody. By the time we were done with Nine, I knew not only all of the stagehands, but every single usher. Because we never got to go out of town, we had a fraught preview period. I remember hearing one of the usherettes saying, "I'm afraid for the little composer. I'm afraid he's going to have a nervous breakdown and starve to death." I got very thin. She was adorable; she was so kind.
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.