Before American Idol there was Stagedoor Manor, a performing arts camp in New York’s Catskills that since 1970 has nurtured the talent of stars-to-be such as Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr., Mandy Moore, and Zach Braff. Theater Geek, a new book by author Mickey Rapkin, details the legendary sleepaway camp’s story, and offers plenty of before-they-were-famous dish on Stagedoor alums like Lea Michele. “I never had a lead at Stagedoor,” the Glee star told Rapkin. “I was in a revue, Side by Side by Sondheim. I also sang the ‘Pinball Wizard’ solo in Tommy. My last summer, I was supposed to be one of the friends in Sweet Charity, but I left to do a workshop of Spring Awakening in New York.” As Rapkin writes, “One couldn’t exactly blame her. ‘It was a real job,’ she says. And? ‘I made money.’ AND? ‘And I got to play the lead.’” Get more scoop on the star-creating camp in Theater Geek, in bookstores now.
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