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BWW Book Club: Read an Excerpt From Michael Riedel's RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE BATTLE FOR BROADWAY - Chapters 16, 17 & 18

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BWW Book Club: Read an Excerpt From Michael Riedel's RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE BATTLE FOR BROADWAY - Chapters 16, 17 & 18

BroadwayWorld Book Club is officially off and running! Or should we say, reading!

Our current BroadwayWorld Book Club selection is Michael Riedel's Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway.

Recap of Chapters 16, 17 & 18

If you would like to join the discussion, you can find a round-up of excerpts and fun facts from chapters 16, 17 & 18 of the book below:

Excerpt From Chapter 16:

Inside the Winter Garden the crowd roared. David Merrick, the greatest producer of his time, perhaps the greatest producer of all time, had returned to Broadway triumphant. He walked out on stage and the roar became deafening. Merrick had never before made an appearance at the end of a show. But he did not look pleased. His arms were folded, he was hunched over, and one hand covered his mouth.

"This is tragic," he said. The audience laughed.

"No, no. You don't understand. Gower Champion died this morning.

People screamed and collapsed into their seats. Merrick walked over to Richert and put his arms around her. Jerry Orbach yelled to the stagehands, "Bring it in! Bring it in!"

And the curtain came down.

Merrick's dramatic announcement of Champion's death made the front pages of every newspaper in New York, and many more around the world. It also made 42 Street the most famous show on Broadway. There were lines around the Winter Garden for three days, breaking box office records every day.

Excerpt From Chapter 18:

The Shuberts financed Dreamgirls with David Geffen, who'd met Jacobs through their mutual friend Marlo Thomas. Geffen had also befriended Bennett around the time A Chorus Line opened on Broadway. The two had talked about doing a show together one day. Dreamgirls headed to the Shubert Theatre in Boston in late October 1981. There was tention in the theater the moment rehearsals began. Eyen, resentful he'd been muscled aside as director, clashed with Bennett over the script. Bennett was issuing his usual demands for better scenes and songs, but Eyen resisted. "I'm the writer, not him!" Eyen would explode. Though only three years older than Bennett, Eyen referred to the Tony-winning director as "this kid running around."

"Tom was a wild, hot-headed Arab-American. He gave Micahel the hives, literally," said Krieger. When they blew up at each other, Avian would take Bennett aside and calm him down, and Krieger would do the same with Eyen. "They were both explosive types," said Krieger. "When they were happy, it was like the sun coming out. When they were depressed and angry, it was, book me a ticket to someplace else." At one point Bennett wanted to cut the song "One Night Only" because he thought it was too Jewish (kt was in a minor key). He wanted something more contemporary, so Eyen and Krieger wrote a disco song called "Going to Be My Time." The first time the cast performed it, "there was an insurrection from everybody in the theater," said Krieger. "Everybody turned on Michael for cutting 'One Night Only.' He finally put it back."

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