Diary of a Mad Playwright

James Kirkwood, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-525-24761-6
In this wild, humorous tale of the theater world, novelist and playwright Kirkwood ( A Chorus Line ) self-indulgently describes his three-year-long roller-coaster attempt to present his play, Legends! Here are vivid accounts of how Kirkwood found, lost and found again financiers, producers, directors, managers, a cast and supporting crew. Although much of the book's zany action centers on the two feuding actresses--Carol Channing and Mary Martin--who played the major roles of two feuding actresses, other gossipy, dialogue-filled sections depict the oddities of opening night and the boffo 32-city tour in 1986-1987 of a play that never got to New York and didn't fully pay back its investors. The book, following Kirkwood's recent untimely death, is replete with the myriad controversies, jealousies and frustrations associated with the theater. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
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