Sunday, October 16, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Blog Tour, Giveaway & Guest Post with Mitchell Maxwell author of Little Did I Know

Mitchell Maxwell,  a Tony Award winning producer, director and 35-year veteran of the entertainment industry has a new novel that was just published called Little Did I Know.

Maxwell is the visionary producer behind the rollicking Broadway revival of Damn Yankees featuring the legendary Jerry Lewis – which was nominated for multiple Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical – and the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Dinner with Friends. He has produced the Broadway musicals Play On! Bells are Ringing (Tony-nominated for Best Revival of a Musical), Blues in the Night (Tony Nominated as Best Musical), Brooklyn, and the percussive theatrical wonder, Stomp!

Guest Post by Mitchell Maxwell:

Years ago I did a musical on London's West End where it became a big smash hit.  After we danced and celebrated and the thanked the theater gods toasting each one with a fresh pint we came to the sober realization that we had a show that was the buzz of Piccadilly and beyond.  Within days we had offers to take the show on tour in the UK, remount it in NY were offered a lucrative guaranteed tour of Japan.  Has I had come to learn "hits are fun".  
So, we loved the British company and decided to keep them for the remount in NY and then bring them to Japan.  Saving money and keeping the family together. Unfortunately the unions would not allow the entire company to make the journey so we were forced to choose who we might replace and went about the process with a sense of joy mixed with melancholy.  We all agreed on one actor that "had to stay" even if we had to throw down the gaulet to the gods of the union.  So on the day of auditions whenever an actress walked in to sing for this "taken" role her chances were slim and none. 
 And then I learned something that stays with me every time a performer walks in and has the guts and resolve and courage to audition.  You just never know where you will find magic or goose bumps or electricity in a performer so strong it can light a city.  
This young woman stepped center stage, gave her name, which was barely noted and said she was going to sing a song from BALLROOM.  Out of professional respect we listened and then within a moment, a heartbeat, a breath taken away we all knew at once that something special had happened and our plan had changed.  Talent is a gift, professionalism is a craft but when God gives the ability to stop the world and have it pay attention and you are lucky enough to be in the room . . .well remember it is better than a real job--sort of like a snow flake --never to replicated, unique with its own power to be remembered.  
I have auditioned hundreds of actors and so many of them are good.  They are pleasant and special in the own way.  But when a rocket ship walks in and fires up I have learned to get on and enjoy the ride.  That's how you discover art, your own gifts and your own insights.  The journey is fluid, the play is the thing and goose bumps is the goal. 
 I have met hundreds of actors --I remember talent most, then character and how when we shook hands did our eyes meet and register a connection.  The good ones come back and it is fun to be there when they do. 

He lit a killer joint and passed it around the group as if it were a peace pipe, a pact to hold on to the dreams that pulsed through our veins.
            Elliot, another friend, pressed the point. “Sammy, it’s the bicentennial. Add something to the party.” He grinned as if he had said something profound.
            “I have,” I said, smiling with drunken mischievousness.
            “Well?” Elliot continued, shouting as much as gobs of bourbon and fatigue would allow. “What are you gonna do? Win a theater in a poker game? Make out with some heiress? We are done here in two months!”
            I held a finger to my lips and gave a long, slurred, “Shush. Believing is part of figuring it all out. It’s part of the plan. If you don’t sign up for the plan, there is no plan.”

Make sure to visit Girls Just Reading, Here to read the next portion of the excerpt...

Before Stomp! thundered onto the off-Broadway stage of the Orpheum Theater, before Jerry Lewis thrilled an entire legion of new fans in Broadway’s smash revival of Damn Yankees, before David Mamet’s Oleanna challenged a nation’s mores, before Paul Rudnick spoke to a generation ravished by AIDS with humor and compassion in Jeffrey and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, or Dinner with Friends won the Pulitzer Prize, there was Mitchell Maxwell – a young man who dreamed of becoming a Broadway producer.

Mitchell Maxwell helped bring these original and groundbreaking productions to life through a combination of audacious vision, bold creativity and the ability to spot potential that others missed. By embracing his dream, Maxwell actually lived it as he worked his way up from summer stock neophyte to Tony Award-winning producer.  He has recreated those heady, by-gone days in his new book LITTLE DID I KNOW (Prospecta Press; October 5, 2011; $25.00) written in classic roman á clef style.  This is a daring coming-of-age tale filled with romance, laughter, heartbreak and applause about a young entrepreneur who sets the stage for fledgling artists while living a life so many aspire to but never realize.

Set in Plymouth, MA in the late-to-the-party seventies, a young man dreams of refurbishing a dilapidated historic theater in order to produce vibrant musicals in the great tradition of summer stock. Newly graduated from college, he fills his cast and crew with beloved classmates, undeniable new talents and memorable personalities. Yet, while the productions drive his dreams of becoming a Broadway producer, a local woman drives his passions; their romance is fateful, star-crossed, and ultimately more than either of them expected. Told with compassion and the kind of detail only a Broadway veteran like Mitchell Maxwell can provide, LITTLE DID I KNOW is a novel about being in the spotlight and embracing destiny in a single season.
Maxwell is the president, CCO and director of MCrew Media LLC, who has produced seven Broadway shows, more than 30 off-Broadway and regional productions, four national tours, three West End productions and six major motion pictures, including the Drama Desk winnerMarvin’s Room, and the Tonyand Olivier-nominated international hit Blues in the Night. His productions have been nominated for – and won – every major theatrical award including the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Obie, Olivier and Ovation awards.


Thanks to Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, I have one copy of LITTLE DID I KNOW by Mitchell Maxwell  to giveaway. 

For 1 Entry: All you have to do is leave a comment hereMake sure to include your email address (no email, no entry)

For a 2nd Entry (Separate Comment):  Follow my blog, you can follow through Google Friend Connect to the left in my side column. If you already do, thank you, and please  make sure to let me know in your comment so I can pass the entry on to you as well. Make sure to include your email address (no email, no entry).

For a 3rd Entry (Separate Comment): Spread the word about this giveaway and Retweet, retweet button below my name at the end of this post. Make sure to include your email address (no email, no entry).

*Open to US & Canada only.

Enter by October 28 , 2011


  1. I'd enjoy reading this book. Thanks!

  2. GFC Follower

  3. I think I would love this book. Thanks for the giveaway!

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  4. I follow via GFC. Lisa Garrett

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  5. Sounds interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  6. GFC follower
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  7. Love this book. many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com


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