Friday, May 05, 2017
"Up In The Cheap Seats" by Ron Fassler - A Historical Memoir of Broadway
Any fan of Broadway and its illustrious history will want to read this delightful book, "Up In The Cheap Seats." Author Ron Fassler takes us on a journey back to his boyhood growing up on Long Island. He tells the compelling story of how, between the ages of 12 and 16, he travelled by himself into Manhattan on the LIRR and saw 200 Broadway musicals and plays - for as little as $1.50 a ticket sitting "in the cheap seats"! As a young man, he took copious notes about his reactions to each of the shows. He shares those reflections in this book, supplemented by his adult thoughts, and peppered with interviews with many of the performers he saw as a boy. Among those interviewed for this book are Jane Alexander, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, John Lithgow, Bette Midler, Mike Nichols, Harold Prince, and Stephen Sondheim.
The anecdotes and personal memories are amusing and often moving As an adult, Mr. Fassler has worked in the arena he fell in love with as a young man. He has been a writer, actor, and director. This book and the memories that it shares prompted me to go through my own mental catalogue of shows that I enjoyed as a young audience member. Some of them I share in common with the author, including "Fiddler On The Roof," "Othello," "No, No, Nanette," and "Pippin."
If you love, theater, you will love this book.