(Applause Books). In 1971, college student Ted Chapin found himself front row center as a production assistant at the creation of one of the greatest Broadway musicals, Follies . Needing college credit to graduate on time, he kept a journal of everything he saw and heard and thus was able to document in unprecedented detail how a musical is ...
(Applause Books). In 1971, college student Ted Chapin found himself front row center as a production assistant at the creation of one of the greatest Broadway musicals, Follies . Needing college credit to graduate on time, he kept a journal of everything he saw and heard and thus was able to document in unprecedented detail how a musical is actually created. Now, more than thirty years later, he has fashioned an extraordinary chronicle. Follies was created by Stephen Sondheim, Hal Prince, Michael Bennett, and James Goldman giants in the evolution of the Broadway musical and geniuses at the top of their game. Everything Was Possible takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride, from the uncertainties of casting to drama-filled rehearsals, from the care and feeding of one-time movie and television stars to the pressures of a Boston tryout to the exhilaration of opening night on Broadway. Foreword by long-time NY critic Frank Rich.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-09-08 Chapin tells how the 1971 Hal Prince/ Stephen Sondheim/Michael Bennett musical about old theater performers created no strapping young stars, went through multiple revisions, lost money and yet established a place in theater memory for emotional and artistic complexity. The author, son of arts impresario Schuyler Chapin, was one of Follies's few youngsters, a Connecticut College student observing the production as independent study but becoming the crew's gofer. Chapin's chronology spans the practical to the exceptional, from how tap sounds are created to the last-minute writing of Yvonne De Carlo's now-standard I'm Still Here. He also charts Boris Aronson's multileveled sets, the dress that transformed Alexis Smith into the show's star, the inestimable uses of previews in Boston, the Broadway opening and the surrounding national interest in the play. Chapin doesn't dwell on the negative audience reaction to Follies's ambiguities, leaving the play's year-long run to tell the tale. Despite much praise and many Tony Awards, Follies closed after 522 performances. It lost almost $800,000 and was considered a "financial failure." Still, nearly all the players considered it a high point of their careers. Prince called it his "favorite show"; Bennett said, "So much of that show was better than anything I've ever seen or anything I've ever done." Maybe, as Frank Rich says, it needs time to gain its place in theater history. Whatever happens, Chapin memorably marks the creation of a difficult, honorable work. 8 pages of color photos and 63 b&w photos in text. (Oct. 9) Forecast: This book should enjoy a long run as a definitive stage history and a staple for arts libraries. Budding producers and directors will want to read it to understand how plays are made and how they can take chances within a play's genre. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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