Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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One More Seat at the Round Table
by Susan Dormady Eisenberg
Publication Date: April 4, 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.
“The creation of the star-studded Broadway musical Camelot takes center stage in Eisenberg’s historical novel. The author’s research is impeccable. An appealing fictionalization for readers with a love for the stage.”
“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 man characters who romantically find their paths through their respective places within the art form and into each other’s lives reflect the obstacles to having a career in the professional musical theater. Ms. 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, award-winning author of Narrow Escapes, A Memoir and Burned, A Memoir
“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
“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 protagonist 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
“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
“Susan Dormady Eisenberg’s One More Seat at the Round Table is a charming account of the hypothetical development of the musical Camelot…it is a delightful read that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys a good love story, musical theater, and history.”
— Literary Titan
About the Author
Susan Dormady Eisenberg has written two novels, “One More Seat at the Round Table: A Novel of Broadway’s CAMELOT” and “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. You can visit her web site at www.susandeisenberg.com.