Thursday, November 30, 2023

Susan Dormady Eisenberg is center a book giveaway

Introduction by Melissa Amster

I recently experienced book besherte. I connected with a woman in a Broadway group after posting about Kimberly Akimbo when I saw it this past summer. I looked her up and noticed she lives somewhat near me and that she has written a book that focuses on a Broadway musical! (And it turns out our kids know each other too.) We have since met up in person twice and she is absolutely lovely. She's so kind and has so many interesting stories about her musical theater experiences. I'm really excited for you to meet her today. Her novel, One More Seat at the Round Table, is the perfect holiday gift for historical fiction and/or musical theater fans. Susan has FIVE copies for some lucky readers (either print or digital)!

Susan Dormady Eisenberg is also the author of The Voice I Just Heard. She has published arts profiles in newspapers, Classical Singer, Opera News, and Huffington Post. She’s drafting her third novel about American icon Annie Oakley, and has also written for companies and organizations throughout Greater Washington, D.C. In her first career, Ms. Eisenberg was director of marketing for The Joffrey Ballet/NYC and publicist for Syracuse Stage and Goodspeed Opera House. She makes her home in Maryland with her husband, a senior care executive, and is a proud member of the Authors Guild. (Bio adapted from Amazon.)

Visit Susan online:

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.
(Courtesy of Amazon.)

"In One More Seat at the Round Table, Eisenberg spins a delicious, surprising concoction of a story, gving 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, award-winning author of The Portraitist and The Courtesan's Daughter

"An utterly engrossing, hilarious, and often tender novel of how one hundred-plus creative people made Broadway's 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, award-winning author of Claude & Camille and The Boy in the Rain

In one sentence, what was the road to publishing like for you?
The road to publishing was always challenging and sometimes discouraging, but ultimately fulfilling when I realized I could stop pitching traditional houses (to no avail) and send my book into the world via Atmosphere, a respected hybrid press.

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing One More Seat at the Round Table?
The biggest challenges of writing ONE MORE SEAT AT THE ROUND TABLE was giving readers a birds-eye glimpse into the creation of Broadway’s Camelot without using excerpts from the book or lyrics. The reason for the latter is that I assumed it would take months to get permissions.

Another challenge was doing enough research so that I could present the stars of Camelot—Richard Burton, Julie Andrews, and Robert Goulet—as flesh-and-blood people who interacted realistically with my fictional characters. 

The biggest reward was visiting the historical theaters where Camelot performed and imagining how the show looked on those stages. Another reward was receiving a Kirkus Review praising my research and saying the book was “engaging and entertaining.” I was thrilled!

If One More Seat were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Casting for a possible movie of ONE MORE SEAT AT THE ROUND TABLE:
Jane Conroy: Lily Collins
Bryce Christmas: Chris Evans
Brock Remsen: Paul Giamatti
Alan Lerner: Julian Ovenden
Fritz Loewe: Christoph Waltz
Moss Hart: Dominic West    
Richard Burton: Max Irons
Julie Andrews: Brie Larson
Robert Goulet: Zac Efron

What is the last musical you saw that you would recommend?
The last musical I saw on Broadway was Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. I would highly recommend it, along with Kimberly Akimbo which I saw this past summer.

What is a favorite holiday tradition of yours?
As for holiday traditions, our family celebrates both Hannukah and Christmas, and my favorite years are when these holidays overlap and we serve latkes with Christmas dinner.

If we were to visit you right now, what are some places you would take us to see?
If you visited me in Baltimore, I would take you on a literary tour of sites related to Edgar Allen Poe, including his former Baltimore rowhouse, his grave, and the saloon in Fells Point—The Horse You Came In On—where Poe allegedly took his last drink. I would also show you a townhouse at 1307 Park Avenue where F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and their daughter Scottie lived for two years while Zelda was receiving treatment at Sheppard Pratt in Towson. Finally, we’d have lunch at the Owl Bar in The Belvedere, once a hotel, now a condo building, where Fitzgerald often drank with renowned Baltimore journalist H.L. Mencken.  

Thanks to Susan for visiting with us and for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends December 5th at midnight EST.

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Mary C said...


bn100 said...


diannekc said...

I would like to see Hamilton

Lisa D said...

I'd love to see Mamma Mia! I saw Cats a few years ago and it was absolutely fantastic.

traveler said...

The Music Man was fabulous and Phantom of the Opera outstanding.

Xia Lee said...

Like to see Hamilton