Second Act Trouble: Behind the Scenes at Broadway's Big Musical Bombs

Front Cover
Hal Leonard Corporation, 2006 - Music - 388 pages
1 Review
(Applause Books). If Broadway's triumphant musical hits are exhilarating, the backstage tales of Broadway failures are tantalizing soap operas in miniature. Second Act Trouble puts you with the creators in the rehearsal halls, at out-of-town tryouts, in late-night, hotel-room production meetings, and at after-the-fact recriminatory gripe fests. Suskin has compiled and annotated long-forgotten, first-person accounts of 25 Broadway musicals that stubbornly went awry. Contributions come from such respected writers as Patricia Bosworth, Mel Gussow, Lehman Engel, William Gibson, Lewis H. Lapham, and John Gruen. No mere vanity productions, these; you can't have a big blockbuster of failure, it seems, without the participation of Broadway's biggest talents. Caught in the stranglehold of tryout turmoil are Richard Rodgers, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman, Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse, John Kander, Mel Brooks, and even Edward Albee. The infamous shows featured include Mack & Mabel; Breakfast at Tiffany's; The Act; Dude; Golden Boy; Hellzapoppin'; Nick and Nora; Seesaw; Kelly; and How Now, Dow Jones .
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - magicians_nephew - LibraryThing

Rather a cut and paste book collecting stories written at the time when these shows were in rehearsal and in preview and hoping to be the next big hit. So some stories and long and in detail and some ... Read full review

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
CAST OF CHARACTERS AND LIST OF VICTIMS
7
When Everything Goes Wrong
16
Sweat and Sequins Shine It On
19
Its Not Where You Start
29
Excruciatingly Boring
43
Mud in the Valley at a 15top
57
Star Turns
68
Any Suggestions?
189
The Doctor Is In
197
Fjord Every Stream
205
Outside Interference
218
Calling All Critics
221
Thanksgiving Turkey
235
Breakdown
247
A Shot in the Arm
259

Fits and Fights and Feuds and Egos
71
Disposition and Indisposition
87
The OneEyed Prostitute
97
Thats How the Money Goes
105
Material Objection
122
Goodbye Mabel
125
A Conclave of EgoManiacal Children
135
The Rising Edge of Hysteria
147
A Little Turntable Music Please
163
Salvage Jobs
176
Misbegotten but Alive
179
Battle Stations
274
A Case of Mumps
277
Knockout
291
The Secret Vision
303
Ten Big Boys in a Room
313
The Nadir
326
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp
329
CREDITS
369
INDEX
371
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Steven Suskin is the author of Broadway Season 1999-2000 and Show Tunes. His other books include Opening Night on Broadway and More Opening Nights on Broadway. A longtime theatrical manager and producer, he has written extensively about the Broadway theatre in books, magazines, and on the
Internet.

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