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BWW Book Club: Read an Excerpt From Michael Riedel's RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE BATTLE FOR BROADWAY - Chapters 22, 23 & 24

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BWW Book Club: Read an Excerpt From Michael Riedel's RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE BATTLE FOR BROADWAY - Chapters 22, 23 & 24

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 22, 23 & 24

If you would like to join the discussion, you can find a round-up of excerpts and fun facts from chapters 22, 23 & 24

Excerpt from chapter 22:

Michael Bennett turned forty on April 9, 1983. Marvin Krauss, the wily genreal manager who tried to buy Henry Krieger's share of Dreamgirls during its Boston tryout, threw a party for Bennett at 890 Broadway. Everyone was asked to wear red, Bennett's favorite color. The vast rehearsal spaces of 890 Broadway were turned into a mini Coney Island, with a Boardwalk, balloons, popcorn machines, an ice-cream parlor, and a hot dog stand. There were less family-friendly stands as well, some providing booze and another supplying "drugs of one's choice."

Krauss, along with eight of Bennett's friends, paid for the party. Each also ponied up $4,000 for a red Porsche for Bennett, which was delivered to 890 wrapped in a giant red bow.

"As though Michael, who was making $90,000 a week needed a Porsche from his friends," said John Breglio. "He didn't even drive. But Marvin wanted to show his love. I remember Michel called me up after the part and said, 'They bought me a sports car! I have no interest in it, but I'll act like i like it.' He never used it. He was scared of it."

Excerpt from chapter 24:

In 1983, a friend of Cameron Mackintosh's gave the producer a tape of a concert version of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables that had been performed at the Palais des Sports. The songs were by Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, who had both been influenced by the 1970 recording of Jesus Christ Superstar. Mackintosh had little interest in a French musical based on a nineteenth-century doorstop of a novel, but out of courtesy to his friend he listened to the tape. The score was thrilling. By the fourth song, he knew he had to do the show.

But there were problems. The concert was under two hours - sort of a collection of scenes from the novel rather than a proper musical - and it was in French. Mackintosh asked the critic and poet James Fenton to adapt Boubil and Schonberg's concert into a full-fledged English stage musical. Fenton had never read the novel, so he took it with him on a two-month trip to Borneo. He read it as he was canoeing down the Kapaus River. To lighten his backpack, he ripped out the pages when he finished them, and tossed them to the crocodiles.


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