Gathers Broadway anecdotes auditions, firings, working with stars, traveling productions, closings, directors, and understudies
Sing Out, Louise! is the ultimate Broadway insider's book, based on extensive interviews with scores of Broadway performers, including Gwen Verdon (Sweet Charity), Elaine Stritch (Company), Jerry Orbach (Promises, Promises), Barbara Cook (The Music Man), Carol Channing (Hello, Dolly!), Lauren Bacall (Woman of the Year, Applause), Jo Sullivan and Susan Johnson (Most Happy Fella), and Dorothy Loudon (Annie). Taking its title from Ethel Merman's famous admonition to her stage daughter in Gypsy, this is a unique backstage glimpse at the passion and commitment - and the jealousy and heartbreak - that have made Broadway the center of the American musical theatre for more than half a century.The first account of what it really feels like to perform on Broadway, Sing Out, Louise! presents behind-the-scenes anecdotes of dozens of Broadway shows, including Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, The King and I, Kiss Me, Kate, Fiorello!, Peter Pan, Sweeney Todd, Grand Hotel, City of Angels, and Miss Saigon. At the heart of the book are the complex perspectives of the performer, the supporting player as well as the star. McGovern and Winer intersperse explanatory comments and theatrical background with the performers' recollections of working with such beloved stars as Merman and Mary Martin and such directors and choreographers as Michael Bennett, George Abbott, Harold Prince, and Tommy Tune. Performers share their personal memories of trying to get cast in a Broadway show (and trying to keep their job after a successful audition); the unique and often terrifying experience of singing onstage; and performing in troubled shows that should have worked, could never have worked, closed too soon on Broadway, or never even reached New York. They discuss replacing other performers and the nightmare of going on without enough rehearsal, and what it really feels like to understudy a star - performing with the star in the wings - and then attain stardom oneself. And they unabashedly discuss Broadway in the age of Andrew Lloyd Webber, the star system, and today's life in musical theatre as well as its promising and dynamic future.