Sunday, December 24, 2006
ME AND ORSON WELLES by Robert Kaplow (2003)
Set during one week in November 1937 when Welles mounted a production of JULIUS CAESAR at the Mercury Theatre on West 41st Street, this absolutely charming novel inhabits that time and place through the eyes of Richard Samuels, a seventeen-year-old beginning actor who happens to be in the right place at the right time. We meet John Houseman, Joseph Cotten and the tyrannical twenty-two year old Welles at the beginning of his meteoric rise. During one week, Samuels falls in love, sleeps in Orson Welles' pajamas at the encouragement of his winsome production assistant Sonja (herself making a bid for an introduction to David O. Selznick), acts beside the behemoth in JULIUS CAESAR and loses his job.