The Hudson Theatre, which opened in 1903, is much more than a beautiful facade, and much more than a landmark Broadway playhouse. With Tiffany glass mosaics and Roman friezes complete with verde-antique in Greco-Roman marble, the theatre was recently and painstakingly restored by Millennium Hotels. With as much drama going on off-stage as beneath its historic proscenium arch, The Hudson has been the theater home for such titanic twentieth century actors as George M. Cohan, Ethel Barrymore, Laurence Olivier, Alfred Lunt, and Jason Robards Jr.
As if that weren't enough of a resume, The Hudson has also played the big time as the studio where Jack Paar and Steve Allen did their nationally broadcast TV shows. Elvis, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., and many others not instantly associated with Broadway have been celebrated Hudson guests, too.
Ward Morehouse III, whose family has been identified with theater for generations, uses the Hudson as a launching pad to write about the Golden Age of Broadway, live TV, and beyond into the new, international age of corporate-theatre synergy.
"Ward Morehouse III, like his well-known father before him, is a natural storyteller, with countless stories to tell. His good-natured affection for New York--its characters, its cultures, its history-makers and its history--shines through his prose. He knows this city well, and likes to share what he knows. For a couple of decades I've enjoyed his newspaper writings. And a new book from him is always welcome!"
-Chip Deffaa, author of Blue Rhythms and Voices of the Jazz Age
"No one is more qualified to write a history of Broadway's landmark Hudson Theatre than Ward Morehouse III, a member of a family identified with the New York theater for generations and a theater columnist and historian in his own right. The story of how the Hudson has survived for more than a century of ups and downs as home to great plays and players, to big bands and radio dramas, rock and cabaret stars, is fascinatingly told and a very good read indeed. It burnishes Morehouse's reputation as a researcher and witty, anecdotal writer earned by several books on New York's grand hotels."
-Frederick M. Winship, United Press International cultural critic-at-large