THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY'S by Rowland Barber

THE NIGHT THEY RAIDED MINSKY'S

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The story of burlesque at the National Winter Garden, on Houston Street, New York City, has its beginnings in the Minsky family and follows its career with the father, Louis, who disapproved of his sons' -- Billy in particular -- activities in this type of show business. From a peddler to a merchant, Louis was a respected citizen of the lower East side and to have his boys turn a Lutheran Church into, first, a nickelodeon and then a cafe with a rooftop theater of dubious repute was not to his liking. But the venture grew from a joke to a nationally famous institution. This covers the uncovering of the ""chicks"", the development of strip tease, the comics and their acts, the audiences that were made up of neighborhood friends as well as explorers from society and devoted patrons from colleges and universities, Mlle. Fifi whose father was a Philadelphia policeman -- and the raid by John Sumner that brought the Minskys to trial, and marked the beginning of the end for this type of entertainment. The co-author of Somebody Up There Likes Me takes his story at a gallop, with a free rein for his interpretation of the personalities and events, and provides a lively picture of the heyday of burlesque -- for those who would like to freshen their memories and for those who know nothing about it.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1960
Publisher: Simon & Schuster