Online exclusive - copies signed by the author are available only at PlaybillStore.com.
The Gentleman Press Agent: Fifty Years in the Theatrical Trenches with Merle Debuskey. Written by Robert Simonson. Published by Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. Hard cover, 300 pages, 40 black and white photos. Signed by the author.
"Remarkably gentle and dishy inside gossip of a long and fascinating life on and off Broadway. Irresistible!" - Liz Smith
From his unlikely start as a Jewish All-American and "three-letter man" in segregated Baltimore, Merle Debuskey was for fifty years - beginning just after World War II and ending in the mid-1990s - New York theater's top publicist, handling more Broadway shows than any press agent in Broadway history. He was Joe Papp's righthand man for thirty years, and was the first mouthpiece for legendary nonprofits Circle in the Square and Lincoln Center Theater. He was the unseen player who, with Papp, fought Robert Moses, ensuring that Shakespeare in the Park remained free; made sure How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying kept its title; saved Zero Mostel's life; housed redbaiters target John Henry Faulk, befriending the blacklisted; manhandled George C. Scott and Mort Saul; and romanced Kim Stanley, all the while puffing on his pipe, banging away at his old manual typewriter, and never seeming to break a sweat. He was Broadway's last gentleman press agent.
"This splendid biography takes readers on a journey through the golden age of American theatre, as seen through the eyes of a major behind-the-scenes player. It is filled with some of show business's most fascinating characters - actors, playwrights, directors, producers - but none of them as fascinating as Merle Dubuskey himself,the PR genius behind them all. The Gentleman Press Agent takes us right into Debuskey's world, revealing the hidden side of Broadway during one of the most exciting times in its history. I just love this book!" - Sameul Goldwyn, JR., Chairman and CEO, Samuel Goldwyn Company.