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BWW Book Club: Read an Excerpt From Michael Riedel's RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE BATTLE FOR BROADWAY - Chapters 7, 8 & 9

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BWW Book Club: Read an Excerpt From Michael Riedel's RAZZLE DAZZLE: THE BATTLE FOR BROADWAY - Chapters 7, 8 & 9

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 7, 8 & 9

If you would like to join the discussion, you can find a round-up of excerpts and fun facts from chapters 7, 8 &9 of the book below:

Excerpt from Chapter 7:

In 1968, 9.5 million people took in a Broadway show, according to Variety. After that, the numbers began to slide, precipitously. In 1970, attendance dropped to a 7.4 million. A year later, it dipped to 6.5 million. The bottom fell out in 1972. Only 5.4 million tickets were sold the fewest in Broadway history. How, within just four years, did the theater industry lose nearly half its audience?

Broadway weathered competition from the movies in the thirties and forties and television in the fifties. What it nearly didn't survive, toward the end of the sixties, was rock music. Once the Beatles hit town, Broadway became something to take your grandmother to on a Sunday afternoon. The change in popular culture played out on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Excerpt from Chapter 8:

The day of the coup- Friday, July 7, 1972- Schoenfeld showed up at Phil Smith's office on the sixth floor of the Sardi Building. "Phil, don't go to lunch today," he said. Don't leave this floor. Send out for lunch. Whatever you have to do. But do not leave this building. Important things are about to happen." Smith huddled with a couple of other employees who sided with Schoenfeld and Jacobs against Larry Shubert. "I guess they're going to dump him," one of them said. "So the three of us just sat there, waiting for the bomb to go off," Smith recalled.

At 11:00 am., Larry Shubert threw open the door of his sixth-floor office in the Sardi Building and Staggered out, ashen faced. He'd been deposed. A few minutes later, Jacobs summoned Smith into the room. Schoenfeld looked tense, Jacobs calm and businesslike. Irving Goldman was smiling. Jacobs issues orders.

Excerpt from chapter 9:

Within a few months, Liberman had a lead. In 1973, Liza Minnelli was at the height of her popularity, having just won the Oscar for Cabaret. She'd also scored a triumph with Liza with a Z, a television special taped at the Lyceum Theatre, in 1972. In October 1973, Liberman went to see Stevie Phillips, Minnelli's agent at ICM. Phillips told him Liza had a few weeks open in January 1974 and wanted to do a Broadway concert. AS it happened, one of the Shubert's prime houses, the Winter Garden, was free. But Minnelli's terms were tough. She wanted 90 percent of the profits. Still, Jacobs leapt at the chance. He told Liberman, "Our aim here is to get a show on. We don't care if we make money. Just break even. We want to say, 'The Shubert Organization Presents Liza Minnelli at the Winter Garden.'"


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