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date: 17 September 2019

Laurents [Levine], Arthur locked

  • Paul R. Laird

Extract

(b Brooklyn, NY, July 14, 1917; d New York, NY, May 5, 2011). American writer and director. After attending Cornell, Laurents wrote for radio before creating the plays Home of the Brave (1945) and The Time of the Cuckoo (1952) for Broadway. He was blacklisted for political reasons in the early 1950s and lived abroad for a few years. Laurents’s most famous writing credits in the musical theater are the books for West Side Story (1957) and Gypsy (1959), two of the most powerful musical plays in the genre’s history. He revealed his ability to craft a terse, explosive book for the former, effectively setting up the songs and dances while also delineating characters. In Gypsy, Laurents helped create memorable characters and nostalgically evoke the worlds of vaudeville and burlesque. His continuing Broadway work included directing I can get it for you wholesale...

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