Broadway’s most precious (and feared) commentator pulls again the curtain on its stars, its manufacturers, and its mega-hits to bare the entire stunning drama, intrigue, and tool performs that occurred off stage.
Razzle Dazzle is a provocative, no-holds-barred narrative account of the folks and the money and the ability that re-invented an iconic region of latest York urban, turning its gritty again alleys and sex-shops into the glitzy, astounding nice White Way—and bringing a crippled long island from the edge of financial ruin to its glittering glory.
In the mid-1970s instances sq. was once the seedy image of recent York’s monetary decline. Its as soon as shining celebrity, the popular Shubert association, used to be wasting theaters to make method for parking plenty. Bernard Jacobs and Jerry Schoenfeld, bold board contributors, observed the crumbling corporation used to be ripe for takeover and staged a coup amidst company intrigue, own betrayals, and felony investigations. as soon as Jacobs and Schoenfeld solidified their strength, they became a collapsed theater-owning retaining corporation into probably the most winning leisure empires on the planet, eventually backing a lot of Broadway’s greatest hits, together with A refrain Line, Cats, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and Mamma Mia! They additionally sparked the revitalization of Broadway and the renewal of instances Square.
Now Michael Riedel tells the tales of the Shubert association and the exhibits that re-built a urban in grand type, revealing the behind the curtain drama that frequently rivaled what transpired onstage, exposing sour rivalries, not likely alliances, and—of course—scintillating gossip. this can be a nice tale, informed with wit and keenness.
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Extra resources for Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway
These previous confidants who have been allowed to determine this belligerent, brutal outdated despot acknowledged his face appeared mounted in a scowl. Above a big hearth in his front room hung a portray of his simply son, John, on the age of 8 dressed like Little Lord Fauntleroy. J. J. had educated John to take over the Shubert empire. yet in November 1962, John had died from a middle assault on a educate to Clearwater, Florida. He used to be fifty-three. The Shubert attorneys, Gerald Schoenfeld and Bernard B. Jacobs, fearing the inside track may kill the outdated man—or maybe that he shouldn't have grasped it at all—never instructed J. J. that his basically direct inheritor, the one direct inheritor to his empire, used to be lifeless. I. Bernie Hart used to be considered one of many funniest males on Broadway, a lot funnier than Moss, who with George S. Kaufman wrote the vintage comedies You Can’t Take It with You and the guy Who got here to Dinner. After Moss’s play The weather of Eden received slaughtered by way of the critics in Philadephia, Moss and Bernie took the educate again to ny. once they arrived, they headed to the Little Bar at Sardi’s. “Did you spot these reports, Bernie? ” Moss acknowledged. “How are we ever going to get out of Philadelphia with these stories? there isn't any manner we will be able to get out of Philadelphia with these stories. ” Bernie spoke back, “Moss, sit back. We received out of Egypt. We’ll get out of Philadelphia. ” II. 5 years later, Azenberg was once provided his envelope. He was once the overall supervisor of 2 gents of Verona, and it got here when it comes to the field workplace. He met together with his company companion, Eugene Wolsk, and so they determined to not take it. “After the ’63 research, it was once a felony,” Azenberg acknowledged. bankruptcy The Phantom by way of 1958 Henry Speckman had labored as a upkeep guy for the Shubert association for 41 years. brief and stocky, he was once being affected by critical emphysema. He didn’t talk—he wheezed. His medical professional informed him he didn’t have a lot time left, even much less if he saved operating. He asked a gathering with Mr. J. J. , as every body known as J. J. Shubert. J. J. hardly ever met with somebody until his attorneys, Gerald Schoenfeld and Bernard Jacobs, have been current. J. J. got humans from at the back of a wide table in his sixth-floor workplace within the Sardi development. The attorneys sat on each side of the table, with reference to J. J. The “victim,” because the customer used to be known as, sat contrary J. J. The legal professionals had their backs to the “victim” so he couldn't make out what they have been whispering. Speckman was once the sufferer that day. He got here in, wheezing as traditional. “Mr. J. J. ,” he all started, “I’ve been with Shubert for 41 years, yet i will be able to not paintings. I’ve obtained emphysema, and I’ve checked on my assurance and it’s now not adequate. I can’t continue to exist it. inspite of the social safety, it’s simply now not sufficient. i used to be puzzling over, may you supply me anything to aid complement it? anything extra in my pension, maybe . . . . ” J. J. glared at him. “How lengthy did you are saying you have been right here? ” “Forty-one years. ” “I’ve treated you for 41 years,” J. J. spoke back. “Now cross and locate another individual to keep up you. ” “That’s the way in which he was,” Jacobs may remember approximately 40 years later.