Posts Tagged ‘larry l. king’

From the deep archives: THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, reviewed in 1979

December 22, 2012

On the occasion of Larry L. King’s demise, I dug out the story I wrote on him and the review I wrote for the Boston Phoenix when The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas opened its first national tour there. I guess I got a little obsessed with the show for a while. I did a cover story on Tommy Tune for the Soho News, and I took my mother to see the show on one of the two times she visited me in New York. My review is definitely the work of a young critic (count the cliches — ouch!), but apparently I was a staunch pleasure activist even back then. You can read the review online here.

whorehouse poster

RIP Larry L. King

December 22, 2012

Larry L. King, who just died at the age of 83, will forever be best-known as the author (co-author, technically) of the Broadway musical-turned-Hollywood-movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I got to interview him in 1979, when Whorehouse launched its post-Broadway tour in Boston. I liked him tremendously and, as a young freelance writer, ate up everything he had to say about his own career as a magazine journalist and book author:

“Writing a book takes about a year and a half, plus to make money to live on you have to meet 14 to 16 magazine deadlines a year. Out of all those, maybe three or four are stories you care about, and the rest you don’t want your friends to read. The timetable is killing, and I’m glad to be out of it. I’m 50 years old, and I figure I’ve hustled enough…

“[In the theater] you work long hours when you’re shaping the work, and there’s the frustration of collaborators. But look at it this way. You write books at home by yourself. You get a bunch of reviews and modest sales. Maybe a handful of letters trickle in, most of them telling you that you misspelled a word on page 39. And then that book is over. It makes you crazy. I actually used to hang around bookstores trying to catch people buying my books. But it’s really a kick to stand in the back of a theater and watch people laugh at something you rote. It’s instant gratification! I can see why people thrive on it.”

You can read the whole interview online here.


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