Authors (and husband and wife) Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer have spent the past two years talking to more than 100 Broadway actors, directors, playwrights, composers, critics, publicists, designers, and stage mangers about their lives and experiences. The result is It Happened on Broadway: An Oral History of the Great White Way (Harcourt Brace), a new book due out in November. The Frommers interviewed such luminaries as actors Carol Channing, Gwen Verdon, John Raitt, Leslie Uggams, Linda Lavin, and Patricia Neal; producers Robert Whitehead, Marty Richards, and Manny Azenberg; composers Cy Coleman, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Jerry Herman; director Jerry Zaks; and critic Clive Barnes. The stories cover the back stage history of Broadway from the end of World War II to today.
The Frommer are historians who teach oral history at Dartmouth College. Their previous books are It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, and Growing Up Jewish in America. Harvey Frommer said he got the idea for the Broadway book after watching the Tony Awards ceremony on television a few years ago.
-- By Robert Simonson