This is one of those "never heard of before," "not really looking forward to reading" books that
upped and grabbed me by the roots of my bleached blonde hair. Frank Rich, you don't know this, but
somehow we are related. Anybody who can describe listening to an original cast recording for the first
time the way you did is my kin. That was me... all those shows, Damn Yankees, South Pacific... nirvana!
And my home life, while not as physically abusive as Mr. Rich's, was almost as emotionally difficult.
Retreating to my bedroom and playing cast albums or soundtracks over and over was a blessed release.
I guess everyone has a story about how they were attracted to the world of theatre from their first exposure.
And, for the uninitiated, a "ghost light" is the single, bare light on a pole that must always be placed on
a stage before all other lights are turned off, everyone leaves, and the theatre is locked for the night.
Why? Some say it is to keep the ghosts away. Some say it's to leave a light on just in case someone fell
asleep backstage during rehearsals (it happens!) and wakes up to find themselves alone in a dark theatre.
Some say it's in case of emergency -- if the police or firemen are called, they have a way of finding the
main lightpanels. But I think you can guess which explanation most of us prefer.