Jackie Gleason and the Tour of Doom

An Actor's Notes on Sly Fox and The Great One
by Larry Rosler

Publisher: Pronoun

Publication Date: March 19, 2017

ISBN: 9781508070153

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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How did a smash hit on Broadway turn into a train wreck on the road? When Jackie Gleason embarked on the national tour of Sly Fox, it marked his return to the theatre after an absence of almost twenty years. With a script by Larry Gelbart (*M*A*S*H*), direction by Arthur Penn (*Bonnie and Clyde*), and Jackie Gleason’s name on the marquee, Sly Fox looked like a potential box office bonanza. The show, which co-starred Cleavon Little and Irwin Corey, was headed for a return engagement on Broadway, but the production was doomed from the start with Gleason at the helm. The Great One hated two things about the theatre: rehearsals and long runs. Now he faced a ten-month, eight-city tour. Nothing could have prepared the cast and producers for what was to come. The author, a member of the Sly Fox company, offers a backstage look at the production and delves into the life of the show’s strange and complicated star—the legendary Jackie Gleason.

Larry Rosler grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where Jackie Gleason launched his career. He provided the lyrics for the musicals Xmas in Las Vegas and Sundown, both MainStreet Musicals Directors’ Choice Award winners.