A Novel by Ruby Preston
By Jeanne Lieberman
ounce of glitz and glamour that people associate with show business begins and
feared, powerful theater critic on the city’s major paper who delights in using
his poison pen closing shows down overnight, ruining careers and breaking
hearts has suddenly committed suicide.
made him do it? Was it vengeance of the producers whose shows tanked? Investors
who lost millions? Performers whose dreams were smashed? What/who made him
praise some shows and trash others? A theatrical whodunit!
an instant you are drawn into the workings of the theater world. The novel
follows the path of young attractive, ambitious Scarlet Savoy, assistant to a ruthless
producer (think David Merrick) as she learns from the best and the worst, and attempts
to produce her firs off Broadway musical. The men in her life include an influential,
handsome theater columnist who may or may not be using her to gain the coveted
job of the departed critic or uncover the mystery of his suicide.
will entice theater insiders who will smile in recognition of the characters represented
as well as being an eye opener for those on the periphery who hunger for the
glimpse of a complex, conniving, cutthroat world not at all as glamorous as one
would suppose. It can also serve as a manual for potential producers.
is just a thin veil between the fictional and real life references. The novel
has the smack of authenticity as local show biz watering holes:
mentioned and references like the “butchers of Broadway” are so transparent as
to seem libelous were they not so amusing (and accurate).
simply and directly, with show biz clichés whizzing by so fast their tongue-in-
cheek impertinence delights rather than distracts on the journey to solve the
mystery of the “suicide”.
the most compelling aspect of this delicious 241 page experience, by Ruby
Preston, is that it is written by a real life, active producer who, when I
requested a head shot of her, emailed me:
Yes, you're welcome to mention that it's a nom de plume!
Though it sure isn't easy to keep my real identity a secret - it's a small
theater world :)
I am unable to provide a headshot at this time. Since I am still
an active Broadway producer, I wrote Showbiz under a pen name to protect
my identity and that of my co-workers.
Showbiz.A Novel was selected by Broadway Book Club by