I've read and reread The Fourth Wall with great pleasure. The people and their surroundings feel very real and inviting (despite the awful things that happen) to me.
It also has a number of what I'd call "side paths" that aren't strictly necessary for the plot but add color and versimilitude. And a lot of them have the feel of incidents that the author must have experienced in theater circles and wanted to put into the book. (I'm not asking for verification, just reporting my own reactions). Like:
- The regional theater director who knows how to make the most of contact with a visiting playwright (and takes all her notes on direction).
- The girls who act by forming their mouths into O's.
- The trendy regional directors who are endlessly "creative" as long as they can subvert everything the author cared about.
- The incomprehension of an onlooker faced with the conversation of two opera-lovers.
- Going to a friend's dreadful off-Broadway production and trying to think of something to say afterward.
- Giving a deserving and underappreciated actor a chance, and then seeing her turn into a demanding diva.
And so much more, especially in the rehearsal and casting sequences. I love this book.