Hadleigh, Boze. “Broadway Babylon: Glamour, Glitz and Gossip on the Great White Way”, Backstage Books, 2007.
I love juicy dish and that is probably why I have been a fan of Boze Hadleigh’s. I once owned everything he ever wrote but those books are not “Gone with Katrina”. Hadleigh knows how to expose secrets and this time he tackles the Broadway Theater and gives us wonderful tidbits and great gossip. We know the names and we may have heard whispers but Hadleigh manages t take the truth from the rumors and goes to the sources and tells us the real stories. We hear of greed and jealousy, sexual aberration, clashing egos, disasters and discrimination…and it is great fun. We hear of Tallulah Bankhead, Mary Martin, Yul Brynner, Chita Rivera, Tommy Tune and so many others.
The answers to the questions we have had are all here and no one escapes. We know that what makes the theater vibrant and alive is the acting and the actors. Many of our favorite stars began on Broadway and many have stories that Hadleigh has been fortunate to collect and then give them to us. His tongue is sharp and witty and using quotes from the kings and queens of the Broadway stage we can piece together a history of Broadway that we have never had before.
I have always had a great affinity for the theater and after having read this book, I do not think I will ever look at the New York stage quite the same. All of us are now privy to the wonderful information about the stars, to their quips and foibles and some very witty comments. This is more than a book, it is great fun. It’s dish but it’s dish served with great amounts of love and a scholar’s use of information and extraordinary research.