Authors: Tom Shea
Tags: #Trivia, #Reference
Broadway’s Most Wanted
Selected Titles in Brassey’s
Hollywood’s Most Wanted
by Floyd Conner
Rock and Roll’s Most Wanted
by Stuart Shea
Country Music’s Most Wanted
by Francesca Peppiatt
TV’s Most Wanted
by Douglas Tonks
Forthcoming in 2004
The 1950s’ Most Wanted
by Rob Rodriguez
The 1960s’ Most Wanted
by Stuart Shea
Business’s Most Wanted
by Jim Romeo
Chicago’s Most Wanted
by Laura Enright
Dogs’ Most Wanted
by Alexandra Allred
The World Series’ Most Wanted
by John Snyder
The Top 10 Book of Dynamic Divas, Surefire Showstoppers, and Box Office Busts
Copyright © 2004 by Potomac Books, Inc.
Published in the United States by Potomac Books, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Shea, Tom, 1966–
Broadway’s most wanted: the top 10 book of dynamic divas, surefire showstoppers, and box office busts / Tom Shea.—1st ed.
ISBN 978-1 -57488-596-5 (paperback)
1. Musicals—History and criticism. 2. Musical theater—History and criticism. I. Title. ML2054.S44 2004
Printed in Canada on acid-free paper that meets the American National Standards Institute Z39-48 Standard.
Potomac Books, Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Drive
Dulles, Virginia 20166
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
10 Notable Tony Winners
10 Musicals Written by Famous Rock Artists
10 Numerical Broadway Musicals
10 Musicals Set in Imaginary Locations
10 Musicals Based on the Comics
Behind the Scenes
10 Fun City Musicals
10 Musicals about Sports
10 Prominent “Revisais”
Musicals that Share the Same Source Material
TV Shows Featuring Broadway Stars
10 Musicals about Big Business
10 Misleadingly Great Broadway Cast Albums
Movies about the Creation of Musical Theater
10 Broadway Musicals You Could Eat
10 Musicals About Killers
10 Legendary Broadway Performers Who Lost Their Roles in the Movie Version
10 Broadway Performers Who Did the Movie Version
10 Musicals about Politics and Politicians
10 Rootin’ Tootin’ Western Musicals
Pop Stars Who Crossed Over to Broadway
10 Hollywood Stars Who Crossed Over to Broadway
Hit Songs You Never Knew Came from Musicals
Movie Musicals that Made It to the Stage
10 Musicals Set on the Water
10 Great Musical Villains
Depictions of Faith in Broadway Musicals
10 Musicals Based on Shakespeare
10 Musicals to Scratch Your Head Over
10 Musicals Featuring Characters in Drag
10 “Small” Shows
10 Musicals about Other Art Forms
Parents and Children in the Musical Theater
10 Musicals With, Um, Happy Bachelor Characters
10 Surprise Hit Musicals
Musical Actors Who Write
Recent TV Shows With Tony Winners and Nominees
10 Dance Musicals
10 Outrageous Offstage Moments
10 Musicals about the Animal Kingdom
10 Musicals About S-E-X
10 Broadway Musicals Whose Titles Are Complete Sentences
10 Musical Theater Spoofs
10 Innovative Musicals
10 of New York’s Longest-Running Musicals
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Into the Woods
Too Many Girls
The Pirates of Penzance
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Harry Connick, Jr.
City of Angels
Lara Teeter and Christine Andreas,
On Your Toes
This is my first book, and trust me, it’s no day at the beach writing one, even when it’s a subject as close to the heart as musicals are to my heart. (For the record, I do live near the beach, but sand gets in your computer, so I don’t recommend writing there.) No one who creates does so alone, and there are many people I have to acknowledge for their direct and indirect assistance in the creation of
Broadway’s Most Wanted.
First of all, my editor, Don Jacobs, at Brassey’s. Thanks for the opportunity and all your help. Don McKeon at Brassey’s was also of great help to me. My brother, Stuart Shea, was my road grader and not only gave me the idea for writing this book; his assistance in its assembly has been invaluable and much appreciated. I urge you all to pick up his book in this series,
Rock and Roll’s Most Wanted.
Thanks, Stu. You’ll never know what it’s meant. My friends and colleagues Lara Teeter, Neda Spears, Francesca Peppiatt, Meghan Falica, Emir Yonzon, and Diane van Lente provided materials invaluable to the production of this book as well, and for that, they have my best thanks.
Personally, I would like to acknowledge the talented tap dance team of Mandelbaum, Mordden, Filichia, Gottfried, Green, Guernsey, and Suskin for their inspiration. The folks at Chicago’s Navy Pier, Light Opera Works in Evanston, Illinois, and the folks at Porchlight Music Theater, Bailiwick Repertory, and City Lit Theater in Chicago kept me sane (and working) during the writing of this book. If you live in or around Chicago, see something at each of these theaters right now. To my friends Jeanne Arrigo, Gretchen Wilhelm, Michael Kotze, David Hoth, Rebecka Reeve, Julie Boesch, Shaun O’Keefe, Henry Odum, Kara Chandler, James Pelton, Don Shell, Page Hearn, Doug MacKechnie, David Breslow, Denise McGowan, Mary Lou Doherty, George Light, and Cecilia Garibay, my love and thanks. To my sweet Macheath, who couldn’t be less like his namesake, I love you. To Richard P. Hoffman, Michael and Candace Pufall, Sandi Phillips, Sandra Franck, Philip Kraus, and Hub Owen, for auld lang syne. To absent friends, I can only send you my love and everlasting thoughts. My family has always been behind me, Stu, Ceci, John, and especially Mom and Dad.
Finally, to those who make the musical theater, the writers, actors, choreographers, scenic artists, tech folk, stage managers, producers, and audiences: You make my world better with your efforts, and this book is for you.
I only hope it’s worthy.
I guess it was Gilbert and Sullivan that started it all. My parents both appreciated the genius of the English duo, whose deceptively lighthearted comic operas set the tone for everything that was to follow in the musical theater. That appreciation rubbed off on my brothers and me very, very early, and soon enough, cast albums of
West Side Story, Oklahoma!,
came home from the library. Pretty soon, my whole family was indulging the habit, buying not only
Follies in Concert
as well. I was hooked.
Okay, if any or all of the above makes no sense to you, Toothsome Reader, fret not. It’s just my way of saying I love the musical theater and have for a long time. It’s a unique art form, which, like all great art forms, has evolved (some would say devolved, given the current state of the art) over time, changing as the times have demanded.
Broadway’s Most Wanted
is a book to honor the creators, performers, and audiences who have made
the musical theater what it is today: the good, the bad, and the really, really ugly. When a show is a hit, the world is a wonderful place. But most show freaks will tell you that a bomb of a show, and I mean a real turkey, is as precious and enjoyable, in its own perverse way, as a hit. So you’ll find lists of The Bad and The Ugly as well as lists of The Good. It’s all so much fun, anyway.
Let’s get this out of the way right off: Broadway. For the purposes of this book, we use the term “Broadway” loosely, and not literally (i.e., the legitimate New York playhouses located between the low Forties and low Sixties on Manhattan Island in New York City). Think of it as the catchall to define all of musical theater. Broadway is obviously much more than musicals, and vice versa, but there you go. To limit the scope of this book to only those shows that have played Broadway would be to exclude, which is something as a writer (and, indeed, as a performer) I can’t abide. So you’ll find references to off-Broadway (like the all-time long-running champ,
, regional theaters across the country (like
Casper, the Musical
Sylvia’s Real Good Advice),
and musicals from abroad (like
The Beautiful Game).