BWW Exclusive: Counting Down to Jennifer Ashley Tepper's UNTOLD STORIES OF BROADWAY Book - The Winter Garden 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! Today: The Winter Garden 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:
Barbra Streisand did not find "People" and Playboy to be a good match?
David Shire, Writer
I played in the pit of Funny Girl for a couple years. I started out as the second pianist, and I eventually became the assistant conductor too. When the conductor went on vacation or had to miss a matinee or something, I got to conduct. Conducting Barbra was-well, what could be more exciting?
After you play a show for a long time, you get so that you can almost play automatically. You know exactly when you need to get ready to play again, so in the meantime, you'd see a lot of magazines, newspapers, and paperbacks in the pit. And one day, one of the trombone players was reading Playboy. He was going through it, during a good part of "People".
Barbra looked down and saw a centerfold unfolded in the pit. Immediately, we got a message that if Barbra ever saw anything like that distracting her from the stage, there would be no more reading in the pit. After that, everybody was a little more discreet.
Did You Know:
Parts of what was once the Winter Garden are now occupied by Applebee's?
There used to be Winter Garden dressing rooms on top of the theater. The ladies ensemble of West Side Story was up there. Years later, the original Follies ensemble was on the top floor. At some point, during the expansion of the restaurant next door, that room was taken away from the theater. The old Winter Garden ensemble dressing room is now occupied by Applebee's. Go to the Times Square Applebee's and you might be eating your spinach and artichoke dip where chorus girls of an era gone by once dressed!
Did You Know:
Broadway gypsies still laugh at their on-stage bloopers, 5 decades later?
Eileen Casey, Actor/Wardrobe
It was at the Winter Garden, Unsinkable Molly Brown. It was like paradise. There was a definite feel in the air; there was a smell to the theater. It was just amazing.
I was a replacement in the show, and my mother and father came to see my first performance. Gene Foote was my partner in the show; we did every dance together. Everything was going fine until the second act. In one scene, I had a chiffon dress with all this draping fabric on it, and a huge hat. Gene and I were doing this very fast dance and all of a sudden, my heel got caught in the chiffon. All of the material started trailing behind me, and every time I went to pick it up, Gene would yank me forward to keep dancing.
When the number was finished, I was in tears. It was my first night on Broadway! And my parents saw that! What a disaster. The next day, they fixed the costume, but I thought: Oh, my career is over. Every time I see Gene Foote on the street, we still laugh about 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.