Set in the 1930s, this is the story of 17-year-old Richard Samuels whose theatrical dreams are answered when Welles offers him a small role in his Broadway debut of Julius Caesar.
Robert Kaplow's Me and Orson Welles is not a coming of age story. It's a Manhattan tale of an age that slipped through our fingers. A Times Square that only exists in the memory of old Broadway troopers, colored in with characters straight from the files of a dozen or so New York newspapers that have met their own expiration dates. But this book, the story of how Richard Samuels, a New Jersey teenager manages to brass his way into Orson Welles' avant garde 1937 production of Julius Caesar and then survive for seven full days is every bit the Broadway tale. Come along and listen to Kaplow's lullaby of Broadway as seen through Richie Samuels's eyes. This is the Broadway that Damon Runyon wrote about in "Guys and Dolls". And while Richie is working his bit part with the great Orson Welles, you can be sure that not far away, Sammy Glick from Budd Shulberg's What Makes Sammy Run? is conning his way from copyboy to Hollywood. It might seem a bit unorthodox to mention Runyon or Shulberg's classics but author Robert Kaplow has recreated the Manhattan they described so superbly and then dropped Richie Samuels right into it. This author is masters of subtext because you know what the major characters like Orson Welles, Joseph Cotton and John Houseman will go on to do in later years. We, the readers, know the secret and we relish in it every bit as much as Walter Winchell might bark, "Wynta gimmee a few words?" This is young Richie Samuels, who knows everything there is to know about the theatre, names of all the greats and the shows in which they appeared as well as the songs they sang.Read more ›
For any fan of Orson Welles or WWII era historical fiction, this is a short, fun novel about a what-if situation of a young boy's dreams of stardom alongside Orson Welles.