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)
Kirkwood, co-author of A Chorus Line, has written a tour de force in this account of the struggle to get his play Legends on the stage. For the roles of two aging movie star rivals, Kirkwood succeeded in getting two Broadway legends, Mary Martin and Carol Channing. From then on, everything that could go wrong did, beginning with the fact that Martin was no longer able to memorize dialogue. Kirkwood is candid about himself as well as everyone else in this cathartic tale of juggling strong star personalities, an inept director, and a neophyte producer. Despite the problems, Legends had a successful year-long tour in 1986, but did not go to Broadway. This irreverent memoir, showing the inner workings of the theater business, appears almost libelous and is thoroughly entertaining.-- Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield, Mass.