GOOD COMPANY: A Memoir, Mostly Theatrical by Irving Drutman
Kirkus Star

GOOD COMPANY: A Memoir, Mostly Theatrical

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Forget the ""Irving who?"" wisecracks and surrender forthwith to the haphazard charms of this New York-Paris-Hollywood sketchbook--fifty years of remembered encounters with Broadway first-nighters, celluloid sirens, last tycoons, poets, publishers, tunesmiths, and professional eccentrics. Drutman may have missed out on fame in his career as a journeyman journalist and freelance press-agent, but the fringe benefits have included dinner with Polly Adler, coffee with Oscar Levant, tea with Gypsy Rose Lee, and drinks with Anna Magnani. A few of his anecdotes thud with over-familiarity; an occasional portrait (Mae West, Tallulah Bankhead) promises more than it delivers. But Drutman's self-effacing enthusiasm--especially in the tender glimpses of much-missed friends like S.N. Behrman, W.H. Auden, and editor-raconteur George Davis--raises this memoir above the slime inhabited by that dreaded creature, the obsequious, egocentric namedropper. Drutman prefers to position himself slightly off-stage, even in the curtain-raiser--a portrait of the author as a stagestruck teenager, sneaking past ushers, climbing up fire escapes to balconies, falling in love with the theater of the 1920s. The theater-loving reader will gobble it up; others may prefer it in random nibbles. Either way, Good Company proves worthy of its risky title--a warm and wry armchair companion.

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1976
Publisher: Little, Brown