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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Groovy Giveaway: The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 1



Courtesy of Dress Circle Publishing, this week's Groovy Giveaway is an autographed copy of Jennifer Ashley Tepper's The Untold Stories of Broadway: Tales from the World's Most Famous Theaters, Volume 1.

From opening nights to closing nights. From secret passageways to ghostly encounters. From Broadway debuts to landmark productions. Score a front row seat to hear hundreds of stories about the most important stages in the world, seen through the eyes of the producers, actors, stage hands, writers, musicians, company managers, dressers, designers, directors, ushers and door men who bring The Great White Way to life each night. You'll never look at Broadway the same way again.

This is the first book in a multi-volume series that will tell the stories of all of the Broadway houses. Volume 1 includes the Winter Garden, the Richard Rodgers, the Marriott Marquis, the Al Hirschfeld, the Neil Simon, the August Wilson, the Mark Hellinger and the Lyceum - eight Broadway theaters that light up New York City!

Photo by Matthew Murphy
And here to tell us more about her book is author Jennifer Ashley Tepper:

What inspired you to write The Untold Stories of Broadway?
I've always loved Broadway shows - and I've always loved the Broadway theaters themselves. I'm fascinated by these buildings that have been part of so much theater history. The few dozen theaters in the center of New York City have spent decades filled with theatre professionals creating important work. If only those walls (and stages and back doors and secret tunnels and dressing rooms) could talk! Well, the book was a way to get them to talk, through the voices of hundreds of Broadway folks - from actors to producers, from stage door men to dressers and beyond. I've always loved being able to sit at the Richard Rodgers and know: Damn Yankees was here! And Chicago! And In the Heights! The book was a way to tell the story of the theaters themselves, through the timeline of the shows they've been home to. Each Broadway theater has had a different journey.

What story surprised you the most while writing the book?
There were a lot of surprising stories! One of my favorites involves Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minnelli and Jason Alexander naked. That's really all I can say. You're going to have to read the book.

If you could go back in time and see any Broadway show, which one would you choose and why?
When people ask this, I always say The Black Crook - but in actuality, I think I would go back in time and see the original production of Follies.

What have been the three most memorable evenings (or matinees) that you've experienced as a theatergoer?
Coming to New York as a young person, Urinetown really inspired me and shaped my idea of what musical theatre could be. I remember every minute of that performance vividly. And I got to be at opening night for both In the Heights and Next to Normal - two of the best and most influential original musicals of the last decade, so those were really special evenings.

What's next for Jennifer Ashley Tepper? And when will we be seeing Untold Stories Volume 2?
I'm the Director of Programming at 54 Below, so there are literally hundreds of shows I'm working on currently that are coming up on our stage in 2014. You'll definitely be seeing Untold Stories Volume 2 soon - I'm really excited to share which eight Broadway theaters will be explored next.

To enter to win this Groovy Giveaway, email your name and address to deepdishdrama@aol.com. The winner must have a US mailing address, and entries close at midnight on Thursday, May 1 (CST).

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