Minsky's Burlesque

Morton Minsky, Author Arbor House $15.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-87795-743-0
With help from Machlin, Minsky has written the ""bawdy, gaudy'' story of Minsky's Burlesque, which he managed with his three brothers from the early 1900s until 1935 in New York City. Although the shows were declared obscene and outlawed, the author maintains that they were rather tame by comparison with many modern forms of entertainment. Most readers will agree when they grin at excerpts from the baggy-pants comic routines as Minsky describes them. To be sure, these were blatant double-meaning exchanges involving the straight man and ``talking woman,'' and the main attractions were the strippers of boundless invention and daring. Minsky's Burlesque nourished the careers of such later headliners as Phil Silvers, Abbott and Costello, Jackie Gleason and Robert Alda, as well as Gypsy Rose Lee. The stories of the latter's ``sponsorship'' by the gangster Waxy Gordon and her offstage life differ markedly from the more familiar reports of the lady-intellectual ecdysiast. Gypsy is only one of many personages who keep the reader absorbed in this nostalgic, funny history of burlesque. Photos not seen by PW. (March 25)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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