Let Me Entertain You: Conversations with Show People

Jordan R. Young, Author Moonstone Press $9.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-940410-83-1
These 22 pieces, some originally published in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times , offer glimpses of performers with their guardsand egoslowered. They include faces from the past, like Laura La Plante of silent films and Huntz Hall of the Bowery Boys, and from various fieldsactor Jack Nicholson, musician Eubie Blake and mime Marcel Marceau. Nicholson reviews his career and reveals an easygoing personality behind the belligerent and rebellious public persona. George Rock, trumpeter for Spike Jones's band from 1944 to 1960, discusses his start in music and the banality behind that zany troup. He admits, ``Later, in retrospect, you try to balance it and see if it was worth it. We always had quite a bit of time at home, but the career didn't really justify the other times when we were gone.'' Young ( The Beckett Actor , etc.) met with some interviewees several years ago, such as Peter Sellers, who died in 1980. His subjects open up, and their revelations flow freely, uninterrupted by questions, which have been edited out to make the interviews into streamlined monologues. The author prefaces the words with brief bios and warm, critical commentary, and is to be commended for the informed selection of performers who are no longer household names. It is the realistic edge of the pieces that makes his book special. From the memorabilia and arcana of the entertainment industry provided here, younger readers will learn, older ones will reminisce, and enthusiasts will enjoy. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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