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BroadwayWorld Book Club Week Nine Discussion Prompts: Final Thoughts, Outtakes

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Below are the discussion questions/prompts for the ninth chapter of The Untold Stories of Broadway: Final Thoughts, Outtakes! Feel free to answer as many questions as you would like to wrap up the discussion!

•    What are your overall takeaways from this book?
•    What was your favorite part of the first BroadwayWorld book club? 
•    What is your favorite element of the final chapter? 
•    Will you think about theaters differently because of this book? 
•    What was your favorite theater to learn about? 


Rereading The Untold Stories of Broadway: Volume 1 reignited my love for old Broadway theatre history. The last time I read this, I was a freshman in college in the fall of 2013. During the unprecedented time we're currently in, this book is exactly what we need. 

There was so much that I took away from reading this, but ultimately, it truly made me appreciate the doormen, ushers, box office treasurers, and stagehands at these theatres even more. Without them, there really would be no Broadway. These individuals have seen so many actors and musicians come and go throughout the years, that their stories could write dozens of history books. I also didn't realize how many shows had the short runs that they did! Thankfully, I haven't heard of too many shows in recent years closing in previews or on Opening Night. Details like these are what truly add to the history of Broadway!

I had so many favorite moments during this first BroadwayWorld book club, I can't just choose one! I loved getting to hear Jennifer Ashley Tepper's weekly discussion topic on Facebook Live. She was able to answer questions that didn't come up in the book, which felt super personal. It was also cool to see her show Playbills of some of the different shows that played those theatres. I felt like I was chatting with her in her apartment! Each Monday, I looked forward to tuning in at 12 pm, and hope to take part in another BroadwayWorld book club in the future!

Hearing from different artists discuss the theatres that they hope to work in soon was very interesting to read in the final chapter. I didn't realize how popular the Booth Theatre was! It's definitely one of those theaters you wouldn't expect many people would want to work in, but after researching it, I can definitely see why. It looks so majestic on the outside, but once you're inside, it seems so cozy. 
Looking at the timelines of shows that went through each theatre was also interesting to see. Who knew that the Winter Garden held so many of the Passing Shows in the 1900s! I even mentally added more recent shows to the theater's timelines in my head. 

After reading this book the first time, I automatically thought about these Broadway theaters differently. I truly have learned to really appreciate them, not just on the outside as people know and see them, but on the inside, as well. You learn so much about these historical places, like how the Richard Rodgers has stadium seating or how the Lyceum still has their old smoke room basement. These theaters have stood the test of time, and will continue to for many more years to come. 

I really enjoyed reading about all these theaters, but I think the one that stood out to me in terms of the history of the location and structure was probably the Winter Garden. I never would've thought that people inside the theater could hear and smell the sounds of the restaurant next door! In terms of the history of what shows passed through a specific theatre, the one that stood out to me was the Neil Simon. Reading about how significant Merrily We Roll Along was to so many people just touched your heart, and truly showed how important this industry is to so many of us. I hope to see a show at the Neil Simon sometime soon. 

Broadway means so much to me, and while we can't just hop on a train into the city so easily anymore to see a show, we still have books, the internet, and movies to help us cope through this dark time. I know Broadway will be back soon enough and will be bigger and better than ever. 

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Updated On: 5/29/20 at 09:11 PM