Turning Points: Strokes of Luck

The Broadway director-producer's life was shaped by good fortune--and bad

I didn't know it at the time, but when I was 14, I had a nervous breakdown. My stepfather, who reared me, was a stockbroker, and my family had been hit pretty hard by the Depression. Our life changed, and it affected me a lot more than I thought it had. We moved from a nice big apartment to a small one, didn't have a car and driver anymore and lost the place in the country--all in the space of one week.

It was a very hot, torpid New York City summer. There was no air conditioning in those days. I...

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