One More Seat at the Round Table
by Susan Dormady Eisenberg
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Pub Date 18 May 2023 | Archive Date 19 May 2023
What if the most conflicted lovers in Broadway’s Camelot aren’t Lancelot and Guenevere?
Set backstage during the out-of-town chaos of Lerner and Loewe’s now-classic 1960 musical, One More Seat at the Round Table portrays the struggles of feisty drama school grad Jane Conroy, who lands a plum Gal Friday job, and Bryce Christmas, a gifted, if insecure, actor on the verge of his big break. When Jane and Bryce fall helplessly in love during Toronto tryouts, their relationship is tested by mistakes they make and endless work woes: Camelot’s four-hour length, poor reviews, the illness of librettist Alan Jay Lerner, and the near-fatal coronary of director Moss Hart who quits.
As Lerner, composer Loewe, and their stars, Richard Burton and Julie Andrews, trudge on to Boston, doubts besiege Jane who hopes to buck convention and skip marriage and Bryce who wants a wife. They also discover hidden strengths as Jane gains agency backstage and Bryce takes charge of his talent. But will Jane’s commitment phobia derail their future? Will Camelot become a glittering hit? These questions create a tense roller-coaster ride to the end of Susan Dormady Eisenberg's wise and witty novel, a story about the transformative power of love and the luminous pull of Broadway as it casts its spell on performers and fans alike.
A Note From the Publisher
As an arts journalist, Susan has written articles for the Hartford Courant, the Albany Times Union, Classical Singer Magazine, Opera News, and the Huffington Post (where her work often appeared on the front page). A proud member of the Authors Guild, she released her first novel about an aspiring soprano, The Voice I Just Heard, in 2012. Her next novel will explore the life and times of American icon Annie Oakley.
Susan lives in Baltimore with her husband, a senior living executive. They have a beautiful daughter who works in theater.
Please visit her website at www.susandeisenberg.com.
“An utterly engrossing, hilarious, and often tender novel of how one hundred-plus creative people made Broadway’s legendary, much-loved musical Camelot from scraps and sheer determination. Told from the points of view of a clever Gal Friday savoring her first job and a rising baritone hoping for his big break, the plot depicts the 1960 out-of-town tryouts when the show’s in trouble. One More Seat at the Round Table is an original, charming book. I loved it and was sorry when it ended. All I wanted was to be in the author’s chaotic, marvelous world of musical theater.”
~ Stephanie Cowell, author of Claude & Camille and The Boy in the Rain
“In One More Seat at the Round Table, Dormady Eisenberg spins a delicious, surprising concoction of a story, giving a true insider glimpse of one of the most iconic Broadway musicals. Replete with dramatic ups and downs, off-stage romances and rivalries, and sparkling with wit, this book should be required reading for every theater geek or lover of musicals.”
~ Susanne Dunlap, author of The Portraitist
and The Courtesan’s Daughter
“Masterfully researched and artfully written, One More Seat at the Round Table is historical fiction at its best, offering production intrigue, vocal rivalry, death, hospitalizations, and romances within Lerner and Loewe’s 1960 hit Camelot. Prepare to lose your entire day as Susan Dormady Eisenberg’s Gal Friday guides us in a riveting story of love, courage, and sacrifice. The book is peppered with utterly captivating insights into Broadway show-doctoring and the elements needed to transform a production from disaster to shining splendor.
~ Henry A. Young, Jr., former executive director,
the New York City Center Joffrey Ballet
“A delightful discovery awaits all who are smart enough to purchase this novel, One More Seat at the Round Table, and succumb to its inherent pleasures. It's a love story for all who are curious about the theater and the American musical form as it delves accurately into the intricate evolution from the rehearsal process to a series of opening nights ultimately landing on Broadway. The two main characters who romantically find their paths through their respective places within the art form and into each other's lives accurately reflect the obstacles to having a career in the professional musical theater. Ms. Dormady Eisenberg is a vivid storyteller and her incorporation of the historic personages who populate the original Camelot production provides a colorful adventure as the novel embraces theatrical history.
~ Joseph V. Melillo, executive producer emeritus,
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
“A wonderful, suspenseful, and engaging novel about the making of the musical Camelot, replete with famous historical figures such as Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. We see the real streets of New York City, both the glitz and the seamy side, then go backstage with the actors and witness the grit it takes to create a show that mesmerizes audiences and lasts through the ages. The real story, though, is the evolution of the two main characters, Jane and Bryce; how Jane fights for autonomy and must prove herself to be seen and heard in a man’s world; and how even with obstacles and road-blocks, both art and love triumph.”
~ Louise Nayer, author of Burned: A Memoir
and Narrow Escapes: A Memoir
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Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
This was a great book I loved it it was about the making of the theatre show Camelot . It had a lot about
T the workings of theatre at that time Thanks to the publisher and NETGALLEY for the chance to read an review this book
I would like to thank Atmosphere Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book as an ARC. First things first things first, I am a total Theater Geek! I love musical comedies of the 60's and 70's. I was the one who memorized cast albums, and sang the songs night and day.Sadly, my voice is no great shakes, but I did know all the words! This is a book about the make of the musical Camelot. It is a work of fiction, and several of the characters are fictional , although some are based on real actors. The character of Bryce Christmas, for example played Sir Lionel, and went on to leave Camelot to join a new musical, The Happiest Girl. The actor Bruce Yarnell played Sir Lionel on Broadway and then left to join a new musical- The Happiest Girl:) This is my only criticism, that the lines are a bit blurred between the fictional and the real. That is minor, however and should not get in the way of anyone's enjoyment of the book. Jane Conroy wants to work in theater, not on stage , but behind the scenes. She is able to get a job as an assistant on the the upcoming Broadway play- Camelot.The backstage sage of the musical, and how it gets to Broadway , becomes a hit( and almost doesn't), is a riveting story in and of its. Susan Eisenberg adds backstage romances, interactions between friends and lovers, and Broadway trivia to this already enticing stew. It is fun and funny and happy and sad- well just like a good Broadway Show! I really enjoyed it!
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