The Sunday Giveaway: Show Biz – the novel!

Here’s a giveaway that all of you can enjoy, no matter where you live!

We’ve all been watching Smash, and have enjoyed seeing how Broadway Producers are portrayed on primetime television (I can honestly tell you I have never thrown a drink in anyone’s face) . . . well now it’s time to see how us Producer types come out in the written word.

Author and up-and-coming Producer Ruby Preston just released Show Biz, “a fictionalized account of the Broadway gossip, opening night intrigue, backstage romance, and colorful characters that inhabit American musical theater.”

You can read more about it here.

And one of you can get it for free HERE!  (As in right here on this blog!)

Here’s how.

From the sounds of the synopsis of Show Biz, I get the funny feeling that it has a bit of a Law and Order ripped from the headlines thing going on.  And that got me thinking about all the true-to-life dramas that have happened while we’ve been putting up our dramas.  There was Patti LuPone being passed over for Sunset Boulevard on Broadway.  And what about the firing of almost the entire cast of Les Miz when Cameron cleaned house.  And remember . . . nope, can’t even talk about that one.  My lips are sealed.

But are yours?

Comment below with the best actual Broadway story that you think would make a great subject of a novel and you could win your very own copy of Show Biz!  (And anyone who says ‘the making of Spider-Man’ is officially ineligible, because that’s just like too easy, dude – step it up a notch.)

Good luck!


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



–  Our first webinars!  Click here for more info on Get Your Show Off The Ground, How To Market Your Show for Free, and more, all online!

– Take my Get Your Show Off The Ground Seminar on 8/18.  Only a few spots left.  Click here to register.

  • Evan schild says:

    How the grincg stole christmas going back on bway during the strike

  • Zoe says:

    How about one of the most famous flops in history? The story of Carrie including why togas, studded leather, and choruses of “pig, pig, pig, blood, blood, blood” were thought to be a good idea. It could also now include the more recent revival detailing why it was more successful.

  • Andy says:

    How about the story of a Broadway Leading man who decided to leave his young wife and child beacause it was “hindering” his career and as a result had his career was ended by one of the most powerful Directors on Broadway who was outraged at the Actor’s “lack of moral fiber” as he put it at the time. IF I win I’ll reveal the “players” in this story.

  • Michele says:

    I think the story of how American Idiot made it to Broadway would be really interesting. How it was workshopped at Vassar, cast, dealing with one of the biggest rock bands ever, having one of them actually star in it and the mayhem at stage door after each show. All fact but a fiction version could be nuts.

  • Laurie Bloom says:

    The loss of Rosie O’donnells 10 million dollar investment into Taboo!!! I remember there was so much drama surrounding the show at the time!

  • Jackie S says:

    Definitely the story of a notable actress landing a major role on Broadway (let’s say, Rose in a revival of Gypsy) where the show flops, only to be revived a couple years later, with another notable actress, and have it be a success.
    With that, we also have a story of the second notable actress blowing up in the middle of a song when an audience member used flash photography. (Could become a series off of that moment: actors who build up their careers to the point where they can stop the show for those things)

  • Jonah Stabinski says:

    A great story would be the story of Julie Andrews’s expirences in Victor/Victoria. The process of the show caused her to get vocal nodules. And then when the rest of the show did not get nominated for Tonys, she declined the nomination. Andrews was predicted to win the award so declining the nomination caused the show to lose out on its one tony.

  • Jeryl Marcus says:

    I would choose the story of a nationwide search being conducted to find a little girl to perform the title role in the revival of a famous musical. After a big deal was made of the search and the little girl being chosen said little girl was promptly permanently replaced by her understudyw while out sick during the shows previews. The original star of said musical was very vocal in her anger with how the little girl had been treated by the producers meanwhile forgetting that she had herself been a replacement for the original star of the show prior to its opening.

  • The Christina Applegate saga regarding how she single handedly (and single footedly) kept the revival of ‘Sweet Charity’ afloat — using her own money — even after sustaining an injury during out-of-town previews that would’ve sent lesser Hollywood actors trying to legitimize their acting chops on Broadway scurrying back to the left coast.

    Ron Casalotti

  • Adam W. says:

    I think it would be interesting to see how a cast and crew would be affected if a chorus girl suddenly died. They slowly start to realize how much that one person contributed to the show with her tiny part, and everybody starts realizing how important they are.

  • Eva says:

    My favorite of all times is Senator Joe,a musical about Joe McCarthy(Yes the Commie hunter) that only had 2 performances as the producer went to jail for embezzlement. (Sorry Ken having the producer as bad guy).Did anyone but me ever see this play.

  • Andrew W. says:

    The story of [title of show]. Nothing gets more meta then writing a book about a meta-meta-musical.

  • Allen L. says:

    One of the great Broadway stories is about the opening night of 42nd Street. Talk about the show must go on! The director, Gower Champion, had died on the day of opening night, but this wasn’t known to the cast, including Wanda Richert who, in addition to playing the female lead Peggy Sawyer, also was romantically involved with Champion. As the cast did their curtain calls to thunderous applause, the producer, David Merrick, made the announcement that Champion had passed away that afternoon. Such dramatic tension! More palpable than what even may have occurred on that stage (or for that matter on any Broadway stage) that evening.

  • Yoni W. says:

    Two stories: Julie Andrews being passed on for the role of Eliza Doolittle in the film version of My Fair Lady, and the story of Shannon Tavarez, the 11 year old girl who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia while she was portraying Young Nala in The Lion King on broadway. She died shortly after, but not before her fellow cast members and family started looking for a donor for a bone marrow transplant.

  • The sushi defense (Speed-the-Plow)

  • Emma B says:

    I’m always a sucker for the underdog story. Things like chorus girls being pulled up to become leading ladies. Also, hearing actors’ stories about how they landed their first show would make a great series of stories or novel!

  • I bet a book about the marriage of Andrew Lloyd Weber and Sarah Brightman would sell.

    I think Ethel Merman passed up for the Gypsy film would make a tragic moment in a film.

    Personally, stories about strikes really strike a chord with me… perhaps a musical about the writers’ strike

  • Caitlin C says:

    When the actor at Little Mermaid fell through the trapdoor and broke his back minutes before the show started… lots of lawsuits ensued – and I don’t believe he’s worked again on stage since. Very sad.

  • Katie O'Brien says:

    Aw, man, I have a bunch of ideas! 🙁
    But the one that I thought of first is the story of Jonathan Larson, with his dying the night before the off-Broadway premiere of RENT.
    It’s really sad, but uplifting, cuz they still went through with it with a stiff upper lip and we all know how successful it’s been since they decided to go along with the staged reading!
    And Jonathan led an interesting life before/during the making of RENT too, some of which I remember reading about in Anthony Rapp’s RENT book, and he has a Foundation and Grants in his name as well as the legacy of the musical. So he’d make an interesting book. I’d read it!

  • Aaron Deitsch says:

    I think that [title of show]’s road to Broadway would make an inspiring book. How a truly original, small show with a small cast got its start in a festival, then off-Broadway, then finally making it to Broadway. The perfect underdog story!

  • How about the TRUE cautionary tale of an unknown actor, fresh out of the Navy, trying to break into Broadway theater… while auditioning for an understudy non singing role in “Pippin,” he immediately falls for a dancer in the show and leaves his wife and 6 month old son several months later. Her star rises, and his never gets off the ground. She leaves him some five years later for a Broadway Producer and he spends his life in regional and community theater, writing lyrics for unproduced shows, living in a tiny studio and eeking out a living while continuously trying to make up with his successful lawyer son who rejects all his efforts.
    A year after his death, a show of his is produced and the son, being the next of kin, reaps the financial rewards which he promptly donates to charity.

  • Nicole S says:

    There was a passage devoted to this in Goldman’s “The Season”, but the story of “Henry, Sweet Henry” is quite interesting. How it was supposed to be a vehicle for Robin Wilson but Alice Playten ended up being the real star of the show.

  • Matthew L says:

    Ok, this is about Spiderman, but it’s not. It’s about a girl who grew up in East Tennessee (theater nowheresville) moved to New York to follow her dream, “paid her dues” for about 15 years, then within a year-and-a-half was cast in her first Broadway show, got married, and had a baby. And she’s still in the Spidey cast. True story. I’d read it. 🙂

  • Brian says:

    “The Show Must Go On” is the story of Broadway’s reaction to the greatest disasters in NYC history. Rarely does Broadway shut down, but this time they did. We follow several shows as the producers, cast and crew deal with resuming performances again in the wake of disaster that profoundly affected each of their lives.

  • Josh Ruben says:

    New to the blog, love it. Had one idea that several people have already mentioned so here goes:

    1) How the friendship between Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan was destroyed by the Red Scare, and how both men used the ensuing feud in their stage/film work

    2) How the use of Jonathan Pryce in “Miss Saigon” stirred up the debate over color-blind casting

    3) The whole “Chita vs. Rita” thing


  • Carol says:

    David Merrick stealing “Meadowlark” from the orchestra pit during The Baker’s Wife pre-Broadway tour — and related Merrick stories.

  • Andrew Joy says:

    I think the royalty battle of A Chorus Line would make a great book. The Prologue tells of the taping of the dancers stories and creation of the show. It also outlines the legal stances of all parties. Each chapter tells the story from a different dancers point of view. What they contributed, their relationship to the credited creative team, their reactions to their stories being used, etc. Fiction could take over with stories of pacts between dancers seeking revenge, or at least seeking for what they feel is owed them. Epilogue shows where the original players are in life at the time of the revival.

  • Iyvon says:

    I think the story of Anthony Larson and RENT would be a beautiful story. It would be tragic yes, but it would show how something sad can turn into something so powerful for an entire society.

  • Ray Quirolgico says:

    I would love to read about the incredible cultural impacts that Broadway forces have managed: how Jewish composers gave us our best Christmas carols, how LGBTQ actors and writers made drag queens part of life, how costume designers influence off-the-rack clothing, how women in the theater influenced equal rights movements, etc. Everyone thinks Broadway is a niche market, but it’s really a worldwide cultural influence that deserves credit for shaping all of our lives by way of brilliant storytelling.

  • Brenda Chapman says:

    GOTTA be the Tallulah Bankhead story. SOOOOO many Broadway stories. Ready-made punchlines. Leads you love to hate and Villains you love to love!

  • David Rigano says:

    I’d like to see a story comparing the death of Jonathan Larson during off-Broadway previews of Rent to the death of Gower Champion on opening night of 42nd Street.

  • I would choose Darcie Roberts in BUSKER ALLEY. Here was a woman set to make it big on Broadway in a new musical starring Tommy Tune. She sees her dreams coming true–acclaim on tour, her larger-than-life-size image on a New York theatre . . . only to have it end when Tommy Tune breaks his foot and the investors pull out.

    The real star of Broadway is the performer, and it’s a tough life. If you wanted, you could take out BUSKER ALLEY and replace it with MARTIN GUERRE or WHISTLE DOWN THE WIND, LONE STAR LOVE, or LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE.

  • EllenFD says:

    David Merrick’s infamous ad page of quotes from people who happened to have the same names as leading drama critics of the era, along with their photos, so no chicanery charge could stick. Someone rolling the presses at, I think, the Herald-Tribune noticed that the John Chapman quoted was black, while the Daily News critic of the same name was white, and stopped the presses. Love that story.

  • Elan Kramer says:

    A musical following the flop-story of “Anyone Can Whistle’s” very short-lived Broadway run.

  • Owen says:

    A musical about the process of making a show but things go bazaar actors don’t show up.. It should Be a funny musical that is not so dark like the real drama that goes into a production.

  • Ali says:

    How Maury Yeston had completed much of the score of “Phantom” and was raising funds to bring it to Broadway when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” emerged, became a huge smash, and Yeston’s producers dropped out. So heartbreaking! He was able to finally produce it in 1991 and it’s had hundreds of productions since, but it couldn’t help but be overshadowed.

    Maybe if it’s a fictionalized account, he can seek revenge? Or hide out in the theater and become his own creation?

  • Ellen Orchid says:

    How about a novel based on the amazing true story of Hugh Jackman? Start with his origins in Australia, all the way thru to how he played in “The Boy from Oz”, built up a huge fan base, and then did his own Bway show – “HJ: Back on Bway” and raising a million dollars for a great charity, Bway Cares-Equity Fights Aids.

  • Tim R. says:

    How about the story of a certain leading man who was brought up on alleged rape charges of a minor? And then continues to work with children on the Broadway stage.

    I’m not taking sides. I just think it would be interesting to hear both sides of the story. I also think it would be interesting to read about how that man came out of the ashes and continued to star on Broadway.

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