Dream Blurbs

Originally published 7/7/14 on the See Bethany Blog

For five years I hosted a radio show which was called Southwest of Broadway. It was a Broadway/musical theatre show, from right here in the southwest corner of Colorado. I got to play tons of great Broadway music and conduct some amazing interviews. (The interviews were amazing because of the subjects, not the interviewer. Don’t believe me? Someday, when I no longer care about, well…ANYTHING, I will let you listen to my interview with Stephen Schwartz – the legendary creator of GodspellPippin, and Wicked, to name a few. He was fantastic, despite the fact that I had a 102 degree fever and was high on flu medication.) With Southwest of Broadway, I endeavored to accomplish three things.

  1. Give Broadway-loving listeners (many of whom lived FAR from any major theatre activity) a showtunes fix once a week.
  2. Change the minds of people who think they hate showtunes.
  3. Entertain myself.  Have you noticed? I really like to entertain myself.

Through Southwest of Broadway I had some amazing opportunities. Interviewing Stephen Schwartz was a huge one. At least I think so. I’ve tried to block out the bits I could remember. I interviewed Idina Menzel (yes, children…there was life before Frozen…) and the composer/lyricist team behind my favorite musical, The Story of My LifeNeil Bartram and Brian Hill. Other performers to make a contribution through radio liners (“This is _______ and you’re listening to Southwest of Broadway, with your host, Bethany!”) included Susan Egan, Michael Rupert, Zoe Wanamaker (Madam Hooch from the Harry Potter movies, if you’re not a theatre fan!), and Donny Osmond. Actually, Donny introduced me as his friend Bethany. Jealous much?


And then there was the evening I met Stephen Sondheim. My sister and I got to meet him at a function in Cincinnati, Ohio, and we talked a little bit about Southwest of Broadway. Stephen Sondheim. STEPHEN SONDHEIM. Yeah. Breathing was difficult, speaking was nearly impossible. But we talked. And as Steve (Sorry Mr. Sondheim. Is it okay if I call you Steve?) and I discussed Southwest of Broadway, he asked, “Do you get a lot of listeners to a Broadway show in that part of the country?” My reply: “No. Not really.” And then he said, very kindly, “No, I wouldn’t think so.”

That was one of the greatest moments ever. I used that to promote Southwest of Broadway for years to come! 

*Stephen Sondheim doesn’t think anyone listens to Southwest of Broadway. I would just like to thank you for proving that Stephen Sondheim does in fact know everything.*

*Southwest of Broadway. Stephen Sondheim’s heard of it, but he doesn’t think you have.*

The blurb possibilities were endless. And now I think that’s my quest for the Abigail Phelpsbooks as well. I’m going to reach out to as many celebrities as I have to until I get a perfect blurb. I shall begin on Twitter soon, so be sure you are following @BTLiteraryStuff. The hashtag will be #DreamBlurbs. Can you think of some funny ones? Leave a comment or send an e-mail to seebethanywrite@outlook.com.

I think I will begin with:
Abigail Phelps: the books about which @Oprah said, “That will never make it into the Book Club.”

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