Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyWith 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)
Library Journal - Library JournalThe name ``Minsky'' was synonymous with burlesque in New York between the years 1912 and 1937. The youngest of the four original Minsky brothers gives a first-person account of this heyday of burlesque with humor and verve. Minsky describes many of the routines and the colorful characters: the comics, such as Phil Silvers and Abbott and Costello; the girls; and the strippers, Gypsy Rose Lee, Georgia Sothern (who was 13 years old when she was hired), Ann Corio, and Margie Hart. He repeatedly asserts that the shows were tame compared to today's movies and television, though constantly harrassed by censorship. This is lively entertainment in itself. Marcia L. Perry, Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield, Mass.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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