Putting on the Ritz: 9

Joe Keenan, Author Viking Books $19.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-670-83877-6
Playwright Keenan's amusing hardcover debut (second in a proposed series, after the Penguin paperback Blue Heaven ) incorporates all the elements of a classic screwball comedy. Philip Cavanaugh and Claire Simmons are hired to write songs for a Rainbow Room performance by would-be chanteuse Elsa Champion, wife of the exceedingly wealthy and detested Peter Champion, arch-competitor of the equally rich and unscrupulous Boyd Larkin. The two Manhattan magnates enlist Philip and his chum Gilbert Selwyn to spy and counterspy, in hopes of uncovering some useful dirt on each other. At the same time, both Gilbert and Philip vie for the affections of Tommy Parker, editor of Larkin's pet magazine Boulevardier , and become involved in a series of increasingly farcical situations that ultimately rival Lucy and Ethel at their best (or worst). Although the constantly arch tone palls a bit, Keenan's generally clever repartee and on-target sendups of the media, nouveau-riche society, show biz, magazine publishing and gossipmongers make for a fast and entertaining read. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-453-00795-5
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-09-943505-1
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-14-014989-0
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