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BroadwayWorld Book Club Week Three Discussion Prompts: The Marquis Theatre

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BWW Book Club
Swing
joined:3/25/20
Swing
joined:
3/25/20

Below are the discussion questions/prompts for the third chapter of The Untold Stories of Broadway: The Marquis Theatre! Feel free to answer as many questions as you would like to get the conversation going! The author of The Untold Stories of Broadway, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, will be hosting a Facebook Live Q & A at 12pm ET today! Please post any questions here that you would like her to answer!

·       What questions would you want to ask Rey Concepion?

·       What is your favorite show you’ve seen at The Marquis?

·       Does seeing a show in a newer theater like The Marquis feel differently to you than sitting in a theater that has been around for a hundred years? 

·       If there is a show you wish you could have seen at The Marquis, what show would that be?

·       Were there any shows discussed in this chapter that you had never heard of?

·       Jonathan Groff said that he saw Thoroughly Modern Millie six times. What Broadway show have you seen the most?

 

ortizki
Swing
joined:3/26/20
Swing
joined:
3/26/20

The Marquis is probably one of my favorite Broadway houses, its in such a great location and super convenient, for several reasons. Spacious box office, no waiting outside in bad weather, easy access to restrooms, a place to eat before or after a show, and of course, the gorgeous interior of the theater. 

I loved hearing about Rey's different stories of the Marquis throughout his time there. It's incredible how one person could have so much knowledge about a building and all who've passed through it! If I were to ever meet him, I think I would like to hear more of his stories about the different renovations that occurred at the theatre during his time there, including the transfer of the box office and the old abandoned escalators. His job as a doorman for that theatre sounds like such a fun job. I'd love to take a tour of the Marquis and hear more of his stories! 

I've seen three shows at the Marquis: On Your Feet! (twice, in 2015 and 2017), Escape to Margaritaville (2018), and Tootsie (2019). On Your Feet! just speaks to me on a personal level. Being half-Puerto Rican and having grown up there, I loved seeing Gloria Estefan's story onstage and relating it to my own story. I grew up with her music, and to see it come to life with an incredible cast just really made me smile and feel like I was home. The other two shows I saw at the Marquis were also super fun, I would sometimes forget I was actually at a Broadway show! I think the Marquis can be known for housing fun, feel-good musicals. 

I'm not sure if seeing a show in a newer theater makes me feel different than seeing one in an older Broadway house. For me, each theater I enter always has some sort of history. Whenever I go to the Marquis, even if it's just for lunch on the 8th floor at the Broadway Lounge, I always think to myself that I'm standing where one of the old theaters were. Walking into the auditorium of the Marquis always feels so new and refreshing, that sometimes it's nice to have newer things. 

There are a couple of shows I would've liked to have seen at the Marquis, especially Thoroughly Modern Millie, 9 to 5, and Evita. However, after hearing Jennifer's live chat about the Marquis, I'm very interested to listen to the score of The Goodbye Girl. It sounds like another fun, feel-good musical that was also perfect for the Marquis!

The one show I had never really heard of was definitely The Capeman. This is also another score that I would be interested to listen to, especially after hearing how Lin-Manuel Miranda enjoyed the show so much that he was rewriting it in his head, and was inspired to write In the Heights! The story doesn't seem like one I would enjoy, but maybe after hearing the score, I might learn to enjoy it. 

There are actually a couple of shows that I've seen multiple times, maybe not as many as Jonathan Groff with Thoroughly Modern Millie, but there are some that are definitely up there. I've seen Wicked three times (twice on Broadway, once on tour) and Newsies three times, as well (once on Broadway, twice on tour). Like I mentioned previously, I've also seen On Your Feet! twice at the Marquis, and Kinky Boots twice at the Hirshfeld. I love seeing a show more than once, because most of the time the casts are different. It allows me to enjoy the show with a different perspective on how the characters are portrayed. 

This chapter was certainly one of my favorites, and I can't wait for the next time I'm back at the Marquis!

 

Jarethan
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/11
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/10/11
I hate the theatre for many reasons: entrance through hotel, feels like huge dinner theatre. Orchestra is too big, mezzanine is too far from the stage. I am not sure I ever saw anything there that was any good. Note: I did not see
Millie. Disliked: Victor Victoria; Drowsy Chaperone; Evita revival; 9 to 5; Minutes he Woman in White; indifferent to Annie Get Your Gun, la Cage revival (just not good, although the raw material made for fun moments); hated Tootsie and Saturday Night Fever. Loved on thing that I can recall: Me and My Girl, but that was over 30 years ago. Oh, liked the umpteenth revival of Peter Pan. Can’t remember if I saw a thing else.

I would be happy if this managed to get one of the mega-hits, so I don’t have to attend for years after initial viewing(s).

Oh, I forgot the latest: they now sell potato chips!!!
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nealb1
Broadway Legend
joined:8/1/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
8/1/05

Agreed with Ortizki - it's a fantastic location, literally in the middle of everything, with incredibly easy access to get in and out, restrooms, great sized box office, lots of places to eat before or after your show, which for me and my friends is always - always Junior's for a late night supper.

I've seen many shows there over the years..........Annie Get Your Gun (fab), Victor/Victoria (both with Julie & Raquel), La Cage - LOVED IT, Woman In White, Wonderland, Cry Baby, Follies - Sheer brilliance/saw it 4 times, 9 to 5, Millie, Drowsy Chaperone, On Your Feet, Evita, Escape to Margaritaville, Toostie.  I'm probably forgetting a few.  Ha, ha.

Would love to have seen "Me & My Girl" there during its long run.  It's one of my all time favorite shows, having been in multiple productions of it over the years here in So Cal where I live at various regional theatres. 

It is interesting that since its one of the newer theatres in New York, along with the Minskoff and Gershwin, there are many who just feel as if they have to hate it because everyone else does - from when it was first built in the early 80's, and several Broadway theatres were torn down to build the hotel.  The design and layout of the theatre has nothing to do with the experience you get when seeing a musical at The Marquis. 

When Marriott announced it was going to build the hotel, along with a theatre, the business world laughed at them.  Times Square back then was not somewhere you wanted to be.  Marriott has been laughing all the way to the bank since.  It has been one of the most profitable hotels in the world since it first opened with their huge convention facilities and large amount of hotel rooms. 

The Broadway show I have seen the most would be the 2001 revival of "42nd Street."

Jarethan
Broadway Legend
joined:2/10/11
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/10/11

nealb1 said: "Agreed with Ortizki - it's a fantastic location, literally in the middle of everything, with incredibly easy access to get in and out, restrooms, great sized box office, lots of places to eat before or after your show, which for me and my friends is always - always Junior's for a late night supper.

I've seen many shows there over the years..........Annie Get Your Gun (fab), Victor/Victoria (both with Julie & Raquel), La Cage - LOVED IT, Woman In White, Wonderland, Cry Baby, Follies - Sheer brilliance/saw it 4 times, 9 to 5, Millie, Drowsy Chaperone, On Your Feet, Evita, Escape to Margaritaville, Toostie. I'm probably forgetting a few. Ha, ha.

Would love to have seen "Me & My Girl" there during its long run. It's one of my all time favorite shows, having been in multiple productions of it over the years here in So Cal where I live at various regional theatres.

It is interesting that since its one of the newer theatres in New York, along with the Minskoff and Gershwin, there are many who just feel as if they have to hate it because everyone else does - from when it was first built in the early 80's, and several Broadway theatres were torn down to build the hotel. The design and layout of the theatre has nothing to do with the experience you get when seeing a musical at The Marquis.

When Marriott announced it was going to build the hotel, along with a theatre, the business world laughed at them. Times Square back then was not somewhere you wanted to be. Marriott has been laughing all the way to the bank since. It has been one of the most profitable hotels in the world since it first opened with their huge convention facilities and large amount of hotel rooms.

The Broadway show I have seen the most would be the 2001 revival of "42nd Street."
"

IMO the reason the three newer theatres are often maligned is because they are sterile.  The Minskpdf and Marquis in particular are just soulless. At least the Gershwin has a great lobby for intermissions and houses the Broadway Hall of Fame.  Haven’t been there in over 10 years.  At least with the Gershwin, I have memories of some great shows: Harold Prince Show Boat, Sweeney Todd, Wicked (I am pro-Wicked although I hate the sets and costumes), the untimely Mame revival, The King and I revivals, and a few not so great but enjoyable shows, e.g., Gigi, Meet Me in St. Louis.  Plus Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie AND Bing Crosby.

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Mr. Wormwood
Stand-by
joined:8/2/15
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I've seen The Drowsy Chaperone, On Your Feet and Tootsie there. It's not very visually pleasing, seems more like a very large movie theater or casino theater. But it is super comfortable. Seats and leg room are great. I sat in the mez for Drowsy and orch for On Your Feet & Tootsie and liked my seat all three times. I don't mind going through the hotel. On a really hot or cold day, it can be nice to be in line there instead of outside.

As for the shows themselves - I loved Drowsy, liked Tootsie and was meh on On Your Feet. I would have liked to have seen Millie and Annie Get Your Gun.