The “Sad Stories Told for Laughs” series continues with Maryrose Wood, author of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and Alice’s Farm: A Rabbit’s Tale. Before Maryrose Wood was a novelist, she was an actor. In this episode, she tells the story of her Broadway debut, in one of the most spectacular flops in Broadway history. It is a story of youthful naïveté, public chagrin, a brutal review in the New York Times, and, ultimately, perseverance and triumph.

(The documentary The Best Worst Thing That Could Have Happened tells the story of Merrily We Roll Along, the show that was Maryrose Wood’s Broadway debut. You can find it on Netflix.)