Broadway Insiders On Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway
By Marcina Zaccaria
Michael Riedel, NY Post Columnist, appeared at The Players for the signing of his recent book, Razzle Dazzle. He shared stories with Broadway Insiders Lee Roy Reams, Elizabeth McCann, and Albert Poland.
Performer Sean McDermott (Miss Saigon, Starlight Express) started the evening with a fantastic rendition of the song, Razzle Dazzle from the musical, Chicago. It set the stage for an enlightening evening about Broadway in the late 1960s and 1970s.
The Shuberts and the Schoenfelds were instrumental in revitalizing the area that was going to ruins. Tony Award-Winning Producer Liz McCann remembered Bernie Jacobs after something went wrong, saying, “They won’t get me. I’ll build this business. I’m going to encourage production, raise the prices, and then I’ll raise the rent.” She remembered the extraordinary business people who were “so determined” to save The Shubert Organization.
Michael Riedel recalled the days when Cats was on Broadway, and shared words from Cameron Mackintosh, the Broadway Producer who told him, “Your book is about is power. It’s about people who get power, it’s about people who keep power, it’s about people who use power, and in the end, it’s about how that power changes them.”
Albert Poland (General Manager of over 20 Broadway productions) and Lee Roy Reams (42nd Street’s original Billy Lawlor) shared memories. They discussed dreams from power players like Michael Bennett. Moving shows like A Chorus Line from Joseph Papp’s Public Theater to Broadway had its fair share of trials and tribulations.
Performances from Susan O’Dea, who sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and N’Kenge (Motown: The Musical and Sondheim on Sondheim) were also featured as part of the event. The Players, founded by Edwin Booth in 1888, is an historic club, located near private, gated park in Gramercy.
Photos: Jill Lotenberg