BOOK EXCLUSIVE: Joanna Gleason Encounters The Martin Beck Ghost in Jennifer Ashley Tepper's "Untold Stories of Broadway"

By Jennifer Ashley Tepper
07 Nov 2013

Cover art
Cover art

"The Untold Stories of Broadway: Tales from the World's Most Famous Theaters, Volume 1," written by musical theatre historian Jennifer Ashley Tepper and featuring firsthand accounts from actors, directors, producers, stagehands, designers, ushers and more, will be released by Dress Circle Publishing Nov. 12. Author Tepper shares an exclusive excerpt with

"The Untold Stories of Broadway: Tales from the World's Most Famous Theaters, Volume 1," will be available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook and at the Playbill Store Nov 12. For more information, visit


Here is an excerpt from the "Al Hirschfeld Theatre Chapter" (formerly known as the Martin Beck Theatre). "The Untold Stories of Broadway, Volume 1" will cover eight Broadway theatres that light up New York City. This is the first volume of a multi-volume work that will include all 40 Broadway theatres, as well as several Broadway theatres that no longer exist.

1987: The Martin Beck Ghost

Joanna Gleason, Actor

Because of the memories and because of the time I spent there during Into The Woods, I love the Martin Beck, which is now the Hirschfeld.

Any time you're previewing, you need to do work. It's necessary to have that time in front of an audience to work on things. It was different back then, because now there are the dreaded chatrooms. Now, after the first preview, everybody decides that they're going to weigh in, and not give you any privacy. It's always been hard to be private when you're charging ticket prices and people are coming to see you, but now it's even harder. The word gets out.

We didn't have that with Into The Woods. We had some air and space. At first, the show was too long, and some songs didn't work perfectly. Steve Sondheim and James Lapine had their noses to the grindstone, and they'd come in the next day and say, "This is going, this is new, this is being replaced." Staging got changed. But I never felt rickety; I never felt there wasn't a very strong team at the helm, and I knew we could handle anything they gave us. It was all there in James and Steve's very fertile brains; we just needed time to do the work.


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