Margaret Hall

Writer, Teacher, Historian


GEMIGNANI: Life & Lessons from Broadway and Beyond by Margaret Hall

Paul Gemignani is one of the titans of the modern musical theatre industry.

Serving as Musical Director for more than 40 Broadway productions since 1971, his collaborations with Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, John Kander, Fred Ebb, Hal Prince, Michael Bennett and Alan Menken have led to countless accolades for his collaborators, but due to the near invisible position of the Musical Director in the Broadway industry, his story is often overlooked.

GEMIGNANI: Life & Lessons from Broadway and Beyond seeks to not only bring the reader into the orchestra pit to learn Gemignani’s story, but to educate the reader as to the crucial role a Music Director plays in bringing some of the most iconic musicals in Broadway history to life.

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What people are saying

“Paul Gemignani is inarguably one of the greatest Music Directors that Broadway has ever seen. He is a legend. Everyone knows that. What they might not know is that he is one of the funniest, most loving people to ever walk the face of the earth. Paul has lifted me up during difficult times, cracked me up at inappropriate times and raised the bar on my musicianship. I genuinely love him and feel so grateful to call him a mentor and friend.”

Laura Benanti

“Margaret Hall has fashioned a book that is a musical theatre lover’s delight. Equally informative and engaging, Gemignani raises the curtain and lets you meet a man whose contributions have proven integral to the sound of Broadway.

With her intelligent yet accessible writing, Hall invites us in and allows us to see Gemignani’s integrity and dedication to his craft. Though first and foremost a memoir, it transforms into something more. It is, ultimately, a love letter to artists and collaborators everywhere.”

Josh Sharpe

“If you are fan of musical theatre, this needs to be added to your library.

Not just a wonderful biography of the man himself, but also a loving tribute to the creative geniuses Paul met along the way. It is a book I never wanted to end.”

Roberto Hernandez

“Paul has the impeccable precision and ear of the finest conductors, and an infallible drummers pulse, but his main thing is his heart. It’s the first thing you meet in the morning rehearsal, that beam of positivity that somehow he sustains throughout the day-that gives artists room to breathe, create, fail and ultimately surf the high of a great session. I watched him do this over and over with every actor, and the gift of lifting from an artist the best they have, well, no wonder Steve keeps him close. He is a treasure”

Meryl Streep

“Through Margaret Hall’s guiding hand we learn everything about Paul from his family’s history, to the luck that landed him in an orchestra pit in the first place, to the inner workings of how a show goes from the page to the stage, and insights into working with legends of Broadway. The stories are heartwarming, fascinating and at times poignant. If you are a theater aficionado, you need to add this book to your collection. Brava to Ms. Hall on her first book. I’m looking forward to other looks into theater legacies and lore from her in the future.”

Amy Taylor

“Paul Gemignani is a true legend in our world of musical theater. The dynamism of his conducting creates an absolutely palpable tremor of passion and power in any group of musicians and actors he leads in performance. Just a list of the titles he has brought to life, with his baton and his physical presence, is enough to tell you all you need to know about who he is, what he has accomplished and what his involvement means to any artists who work with him. I am honored and humbled to be a part of that list.”

Alan Menken

“If you believe it’s beyond time that musical directors got their roses, look no further. For such a crucial job, it seems like there’s so little out there really diving in to what their role contributes to theatrical productions! It’s also unbelievable there hasn’t been a book written on Paul Gemignani sooner. The author’s love for both Gemignani and the history of musical theatre is fully apparent, and the research and interviews paint a vivid picture (and shares great anecdotes) of his life, work, and the industry in both the present and decades gone by.”