Save Me a Seat - On the Road with Hello Dolly! (Paperback)
"Lewis J. Stadlen is a great actor. He is also a superb writer. SAVE ME A SEAT is a wickedly accurate account of the grit and the glory of a year on the road with a great American musical. Stadlen is willing to name names, to defy taboos and fearlessly confront himself, his country, and a business that has changed drastically over a half century he has served brilliantly. The result is endlessly interesting, richly entertaining and very moving."
- Doug Hughes, Tony Award winning director
"As anyone who has read his first memoir ACTING FOOLISH, already knows, Lewis J. Stadlen writes like he acts with breathless hilarity, uncanny timing, and brazen honesty. Now in SAVE ME A SEAT ON THE ROAD WITH HELLO DOLLY Stadlen once again reminds us that his passion for theatre is at its zenith when he is criss-crossing America in a glorious musical. "Hello Lewis, it's so nice to have you back where you belong--- between covers of a delicious paean to a unique life in the theatre."
- Dennis Brown, author of SHOPTALK, ACTORS TALK, and VOICES ON THE RIVER
"Can't remember being so engrossed in a book as I was in Lewis J. Stadlen's rich theatrical memoir, SAVE ME A SEAT. If you start reading SAVE ME A SEAT this afternoon, you're going to be late for dinner. This is a must read book for anyone wanting a visceral evocation of theatre life; even more than that, if that wasn't enough, this is an irresistible book about life's roadshow itself.
Always complex, Stadlen is in turn passionately cynical, lofty, soulful, pissed off, kind, obstinate, human...this is life's complete menu in one book. Using his recent National tour of HELLO DOLLY with Betty Buckley as the book's framework, he retraces his whole life in notes grand and threadbare, ever circling and doubling back from his many varied roles to his several marriages and amours, recounting entanglements and longings, acting challenges and triumphs.
In sharing his appreciation of the character of great and lesser cities he has played during multiple national tours, from the nature of hotel life to the glories of fabled baseball stadiums in these cities, Lewis Stadlen's many interests become ours. Listen----- he has made me desperately nostalgic about baseball----I, who've never even been to a baseball game "
- Holland Taylor, Actress/ playwright
SAVE ME A SEAT" is about the touring life, but more intimately it's about my association with those artistic souls, of whom I am one, who either find an outlet to exercise their creative bent or become a menace to society. Nowhere in my experience is satisfaction and disappointment more dramatic than when your colleagues reside several feet down the hall, or across the aisle during a ten-hour hour bus ride, with the hope that your next destination will lead to eternal happiness.
There have been thousands of books written about the theatre, but I am unaware of another that details the daily life of a band of traveling players. Those who toil before the footlights and those an audience will never see. Hearty souls who unload the trucks and turn on the lights and maintain the wigs. Henceforth, a theatre book like no other. I have done my best not to disguise my likes and dislikes. To do so would be to miss the point.
LEWIS J STADLEN is the author of the acclaimed theatrical memoir Acting Foolish. He has performed in fourteen Broadway shows including The Producers, The Sunshine Boys, The Front Page, The Nance, Fish in the Dark, and has been nominated twice for Tony Awards for Candide and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.