"Broadway After Dark is a compilation of columns, stories and never-before-published profiles by my father, Ward Morehouse, and myself. The profiles were originally intended for a book called Stars I Have Known. The columns of his are representative of those he did for the New York Sun from 1926-1950 and after for other newspapers. I started writing sporadically about show business for The Christian Science Monitor in the 1970's and continued as a reporter and theater columnist for the New York Post, Reuters, New York Sun, and The New York Times, and The Epoch Times. It's my hope that these columns and stories, taken together, will be a portrait, however sketchy, of some of theater for the last and current century through some of their biggest stars, including Katharine Hepburn."
- Ward Morehouse III, from his Preface
Ward Morehouse III is a columnist, a playwright, a TV host, sometime critic and an author. He's lived with a tribe of Indians in the Amazon and he's sat on the aisle on many Broadway opening nights. His latest book, Broadway After Dark: A Father and Son Cover 100 Years of Broadway, is a lively and colorful portrait of some of the greats and near-greats of the New York theater. The father in this literary partnership is Ward Morehouse, (1895-1966), the legendary Broadway critic whose "Broadway After Dark" column ran for decades in the New York Sun. His interviews with Eugene O'Neill, William Gillette, Laurette Taylor, Gloria Swanson and many other stars bring back memories of the glorious days of the Broadway stage.
The son, Ward Morehouse III, picked up where his father left off, writing his own "Broadway After Dark" column, as well as reviewing plays for Reuters, The New York Post and The Christian Science Monitor. His interviews with Neil Simon, Joan Rivers, the late Wendy Wasserstein and Hugh Jackman bring the book into the 21st century. A poignant link between the past and the present is supplied by Katharine Hepburn, who talked with father and son at the beginning, and then the end, of her long life.
Both Morehouse pere and fils are also playwrights. Ward Morehouse wrote three plays that were produced on Broadway in the Thirties; Ward Morehouse III's play, "The Actors," ran for nine months in 1986-87, making it one of the longest-running Off-Broadway plays that season. His other works have included "My Four Mothers," "If It Was Easy" and the book for two musicals, "A Night At the Plaza" and "Skye is Falling."
Ward Morehouse III, whose mother is former actress Joan Marlowe, just missed being born at The Waldorf Astoria, but returned years later to become the premier chronicler of the majestic hotel in his best-seller: The Waldorf Astoria: America's Gilded Dream. Hotels are one of Ward's many passions, and, it's no wonder, since, as a boy, he played with the bear cub that lived for a time in his father's suite at The Plaza. He captured those days in his revealing book Inside the Plaza: An Intimate Portrait of the Ultimate Hotel. Delicious behind-the-scenes details of The Waldorf, The Plaza and many other magnificent Manhattan hotels are recorded in Life at the Top: Inside New York's Grand Hotels. Ward Morehouse, Sr. began the family's fascination with hotels, having stayed in so may of them that he was quoted as saying his epitaph should read, "Room Service, Please."
Like his father, who traveled across the United States more than 23 times and visited 80 countries in search of stories and interviews, Ward Morehouse III is always ready to take a journey. As a young reporter, he wrote in-depth stories on New England rural poverty and Canadian Arctic oil and gas exploration, as well as those Amazon Indians. He currently is working an easier beat: a book on London hotels. Ward's life-long passion is, of course, the theater, and his next book, due out in April, will be "Discovering the Hudson Theater: From George M. Cohan to Jack Paar to Elvis." He has himself become a TV co-host, appearing weekly on the syndicated show "The New Yorkers." His "Broadway After Dark" column has appeared in The New York Sun, amNewYork and now The Epoch Times and TimesSquare.com.
Whatever else he's working on, however, Ward can often be found, like his father before him, many evenings, in an orchestra seat, waiting for the curtain to go up on another chapter in New York theater history.