A definitive and extraordinary account of recent Broadway history—spanning from the debut of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Sunset Boulevard to Disney’s The Lion King—told by Broadway’s most respected (and feared) commentator Michael Riedel.
Singular Sensation portrays the people, money, and power that created the blockbuster shows and aesthetic spectacle that has dominated not only a couple of acres of real estate in the heart of Manhattan but has also captured the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world.
From the legendary jousting scene in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard to the ascendance of an unlikely musical by an unknown savant named Jonathan Larsen, who reimagined La Bohèmeas Rent and from standing room only crowds who stormed to see The Producers to The Lion King, Michael Riedel tracks it all so you can experience your favorite show from a whole new angle. Told with verve and passion and drawing upon more than 150 insider interviews, Riedel walks us through the Broadway we know and love today: an industry awash in big hits and bigger money, while also being an industry split between its adherence to old artforms and the allure of popular culture.
Michael Riedel has been the theater columnist for the New York Post since 1998. New York magazine has called his column a “must-read” for the theater world. Michael began his radio career as regular on the Imus in the Morning show in 2011. In 2017 WOR, New York’s oldest and highest-rated station, asked him to cohost its morning show with well-known sportscaster Len Berman. The Len Berman and Michael Riedel in the Morning show is the highest-rated morning radio program in the New York City area. Michael’s book Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway won the Marfield Prize for arts writing in 2015 and is widely considered to be the successor to William Goldman’s celebrated 1967 book about Broadway, The Season. A graduate of Columbia University, Michael lives in the West Village.
“This book is a love letter to Broadway, both a splendid history of this American institution and a wonderful account of how art gets made. It made me fall for Broadway’s magic all over again: its history and its myths, its heroes and its villains, its up and its downs, its dirt and its dish, its failure and its glory.” —Hugh Jackman
“There have only been a handful of books in history that have come close to accurately depicting the energy and drive that run the business of Broadway. Michael Riedel’s Razzle Dazzle joins that very short list that includes William Goldman’s legendary The Season and Richard Maney’s classic Fanfare—and is every bit the equal of those books that those of us who love Broadway can recite by heart.” —Scott Rudin
“Razzle Dazzle is a fantastically fun book, full of high energy, anecdotes, and wit. Michael Riedel lays bare the secret history of Broadway in all its grease paint, shady dealings, and shining moments. Written with love but also a piercing eye, this is one show no one should miss.” —Amanda Foreman
"Riedel brings enthusiasm and authority to this rich, lively debut history of New York theater in the 1970s and '80s. . . . Riedel masterfully builds suspense as he chronicles productions from idea to stage to reviews to Tony Awards. A captivating gift to theater lovers." —Kirkus (starred)
"Fabulously juicy." —The Chicago Tribune
“Razzle Dazzle by Michael Riedel, the New York Post's flamboyantly mischievous Broadway columnist, tells the thrilling history of the larger-than-life impresarios who helped transform the Great White Way from cultural ugly duckling in the seedy 1970s to the grand billion-dollar swan it is today.” —Los Angeles Times
“The trouble with Razzle Dazzle is . . . you can’t put the damn thing down.” —Huffington Post
"Michael Riedel’s new book, Razzle Dazzle, brings this gritty world [of 1970's and 80's Broadway] back to life. . . . Riedel unearths treasures from the recent past and contextualizes events that would otherwise be too easily forgotten." —The Washington Post