Saturday, July 25, 2015

Broadway The Odd Way

I just read The Gentleman Press Agent. It's a life of Merle Debuskey, one of the top press agents in Broadway history.  He represented over 100 shows, including How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Man Of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Pirates Of Penzance, and The House Of Blue Leaves.

I don't have much to say about it.  It's not especially well written, but does have some fun backstage stories about actors, playwrights, directors, etc.  Of course, along with it, there are many stories of dealing with the press.

And that's the odd thing.  I've read many books about Broadway, but most deal with the creative side.  Debuskey, as honest and beloved as he was, was mostly a guy responsible for promotion.  That's not unimportant, but he rarely had anything to do with the artistic side of any production.

So a decent enough book for those interested in American theatre, but not from an angle you'd normally expect.

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