Up in the Cheap Seats
A Historical Memoir of Broadway
with Priscilla Lopez
Wednesday, April 5, 7pm
Watchung Booksellers in Montclair welcomes Ron Fassler to the store to discuss his new book, Up in the Cheap Seats: A Historical Memoir of Broadway, on Wednesday, April 5th at 7pm. He will be joined by Tony Award winner Priscilla Lopez (In the Heights, A Chorus Line) for a talk on the theatre of yesterday and today.
In his touching and often hilarious theatrical memoir, Ron Fassler tells the real-life stories of how he saw over 200 Broadway plays and musicals between the ages of 12-16 for as little as $2 a ticket, self-funded by the profits from his Long Island paper route. In the days when 50-60 shows came to Broadway every season, Fassler sat in the last row of the balcony, then headed home to write reviews which he reveals for the first time so many decades later. Ron's eyewitness account to some of the greatest shows and stars of the 1960s and 70s (with visits backstage to many of them), is furthered by conversing over the past four years with legendary actors, writers, producers, directors, and composers who were part of this remarkable time. Threading his own personal stories with theirs, the book features memories and insights from Jane Alexander, Sheldon Harnick, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, Nathan Lane, Hal Linden, John Lithgow, Bette Midler, Austin Pendleton, Harold Prince, Doris Roberts, Stephen Sondheim, and Mike Nichols among many others.
“Theatre is a transient art, here and then gone, but in his enormously entertaining book UP IN THE CHEAP SEATS, Ron Fassler has made it a little more permanent. Both a moving coming of age memoir and a compulsively readable memoir of Broadway itself, UP IN THE CHEAP SEATS pays homage to the men and women who devote their lives to making great theatre. - John Logan, Tony Award winning playwright (Red)
“Ron Fassler’s UP IN THE CHEAP SEATS reminds me why I am WHO I am. The introduction to live theatre, the spark that lit the creative flame inside me that has become the foundation of my life’s work on this planet. Everyday artists/warriors in the trenches transforming lives one person at a time. - Billy Porter, Tony Award winner (Kinky Boots)
Ron Fassler is a writer, actor and director who made his professional acting debut in 1979 at the Cincinnati Playhouse and most recently appeared in 2015’s Trumbo with Bryan Cranston. Among the directors with whom he has worked are Mike Nichols, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Guest and Jay Roach. His dozens of TV shows, cartoons and commercials include portrayals of doctors, lawyers, journalists, game show hosts, police captains, police snitches and the voice of a talking toilet bowl. Up in the Cheap Seats is his first book.