A potted history of the golden years on Broadway; told by those who worked the theatre life and lived to tell the tale.
There are very few things in this world that can cause a frisson of excitement to creep up my spine and make my hair stand on end. The most powerful of this small selection is the musical. There is something about them that can reduce me to the eighteen month old girl who turned to her mother whilst watching her very first stage production and said “Mummy, I want to be one of those girls up there.” Sadly, for me, the dream ended at eighteen but my love of theatre never wavered.
With It Happened on Broadway, I got to see that it wasn’t just me who had that same love and passion. As each of these people who were associated with musical theatre on Broadway shared their story I realised that I was living my dream through the telling of their reality. Granted, this wouldn’t have been my first choice but it was magnificent all the same.
What the writers’ have cleverly done is allow the colourful cast charm you with their tales, yet it is the editing that has told the diverse story off Broadway. For some, it would be a hard concept to conceive that a simple musical can help pinpoint a time in social, political and cultural change but the link between theatre and the aforementioned topics is inextricably linked. It is the fresh look at it from this angle that makes It Happened on Broadway such an interesting read.
Whether musicals are an interest of yours or not, this book has enough fascinating tales to keep even the most ardent theatre hater enthralled. For those who love musicals, this is a no-brainer. Buy this book. It is, quite frankly, amazing.
It Happened on Broadway An Oral History of the Great White Way by Myrna Katz Fromer and Harvey Fromer is available now.