As special musical guest, Ebersole performed Strouse's "Welcome to the Theatre" from Applause and "Those Were the Days," the theme from the television show "All in the Family."
Also in attendance was author and Playbill.com contributor Steven Suskin, who led a discussion with the famed composer of such shows as Bye Bye Birdie, Rags and Annie. Following the performance and conversation, Strouse stayed to sign copies of his new book.
Amazon.com describes the tome as such: "Just about everyone who can hum knows and loves Charles Strouse's music. He composed some of the most successful shows in Broadway history, wrote the film score for 'Bonnie and Clyde' as well as the unforgettable theme song for 'All in the Family,' has been sampled by one of today's biggest rap stars—Jay-Z, in the Grammy-winning 'Hard Knock Life,' and his songs have been sung by musical greats from Frank Sinatra to Ray Charles to Barbra Streisand.
"Timed to coincide with public celebrations of his 80th birthday, 'Put on a Happy Face' grants an insider's glimpse of Broadway, Hollywood, and beyond. With sparkling wit, Strouse relates the behind-the-curtain stories of his remarkable achievements, and tells fascinating tales about the people he's worked with along the way, including Butterfly McQueen, Gower Champion, Sammy Davis Jr., Lauren Bacall, Mel Brooks, Clifford Odets, Warren Beatty, Hal Prince and Carol Burnett. Strouse is a musical-theater legend who is as entertaining on the page as his work is on the stage!"
Strouse is in the midst of a national book tour to promote his memoir and will soon take a trip across the Atlantic for a BBC feature interview with Elaine Paige and a star-studded tribute concert at the London Palladium. For more information visit the newly launched www.CharlesStrouse.com.
Here are a few shots from the book signing:
Photos by H.E. Yhoman