THE RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL: An Affectionate History of the World's Greatest Theater by Charles Francisco

THE RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL: An Affectionate History of the World's Greatest Theater

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Trivia and nostalgia fans will be interested to learn that Radio City's Rockettes were born in 1925 in St. Louis as the Missouri Rockets; that Ray Bolger was the first soloist opening night in 1932; that Neil Simon's The Odd Couple has been the biggest-grossing film; that Cary Grant is the all-time box-office champ. Charles Francisco traces the Radio City Music Hall from its inception to what was almost its demise last year, methodically detailing its outstanding features--grand foyer, stage, and backstage (even the restrooms)--and describing leading behind-the-scenes figures like impresario ""Roxy"" Rothafel. Although seemingly complete, the story is unfortunately superficial and colorless, sounding very much like a travel brochure. ""Music Hall officers gave me no cooperation whatsoever in the preparation of this book,"" Francisco says, which at least explains the restricted range of photos but not why he didn't follow up more leads on his own (we'd have liked to hear, for instance, Ray Bolger's recollection of that opening night). Informative and not uninteresting, but solidly black and white.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1979
Publisher: Dutton