Broadway Anecdotes

Sale price$20.00


Author Peter Hay

Publisher Oxford University Press (October 5, 1989)

Binding Paperback

Condition: Very good with some age tanning. But otherwise pristine


This book is a treasure for a theater buff. 

Peter Hay was a notable writer, editor, and theater historian known for his contributions to the documentation of Broadway history and anecdotes. He authored several books on theater, including "Broadway Anecdotes," which is a collection of humorous, intriguing, and insightful stories from Broadway's rich history. Hay's work often focused on capturing the essence of the theater world through personal stories, insider knowledge, and historical events, making his contributions valuable to both theater enthusiasts and scholars. His ability to weave entertaining narratives about the personalities and events of Broadway has made his books enduring favorites among readers interested in the performing arts.


  • Marlon Brando's Audition for "A Streetcar Named Desire": A young Marlon Brando shocked director Elia Kazan with his raw energy and intense performance during his audition, securing his role as Stanley Kowalski and paving the way for his legendary career.

  • The Infamous Flop of "Moose Murders": This 1983 play is often cited as one of Broadway's biggest flops. Its opening night was also its closing night, and it has since become a benchmark for theatrical failures, leading to many humorous and cautionary tales in theater circles.

  • Ethel Merman's Powerful Voice: Known for her booming voice, Ethel Merman once silenced an entire orchestra during a rehearsal by simply belting out a song, demonstrating her unmatched vocal prowess and stage presence.

  • Laurence Olivier's Prank on Vivien Leigh: During the run of "Caesar and Cleopatra," Olivier, known for his playful nature, once switched the live snake used in a scene with a rubber one to surprise his co-star and wife, Vivien Leigh, leading to her genuine reaction on stage.

  • Julie Andrews' Quick Thinking: During a performance of "My Fair Lady," Julie Andrews' dress got caught on a piece of the set. Without missing a beat, she incorporated it into her character's actions, impressing the audience with her poise and professionalism.

  • "Phantom of the Opera's" Chandelier Incident: During one performance of this iconic musical, the famous chandelier fell slower than intended, leading to an unexpected but memorable moment for the audience and cast alike.

  • Angela Lansbury's Persistence: Despite initial failures and setbacks, Angela Lansbury's perseverance in the industry paid off, ultimately leading to her celebrated role in "Mame" and subsequent Broadway successes, showcasing her resilience and dedication to her craft.


You may also like