Theater Talk with David Rothenberg & James Grissom
Last week at New York’s Drama Book Shop, David Rothenberg, author of Fortune in My Eyes: A Memoir of Broadway Glamour, Social Justice, and Political Passion, and James Grissom, author of Follies of God: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog traded Broadway tales.
In an excerpt from that talk, Grissom recalls how he and Rothenberg first met.
David Rothenberg’s multilayered life thrust him into Broadway’s brightest lights, prison riots, political campaigns, civil rights sit-ins, and a Central American civil war. In his memoir, Fortune in My Eyes, his journey includes many of the most celebrated names in the theater: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Sir John Gielgud, Peggy Lee, Alvin Ailey, Lauren Bacall, Christine Ebersole, and numerous others.
An extraordinary book; one that almost magically makes clear how Tennessee Williams wrote; how he came to his visions of Amanda Wingfield, his Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski, Alma Winemiller, Lady Torrance, and the other characters of his plays that transformed the American theater of the mid-twentieth century; a book that does, from the inside, the almost impossible—revealing the heart and soul of artistic inspiration and the unwitting collaboration between playwright and actress, playwright and director.