BWW Reviews: STAGED by Ruby Preston

I'm sure author Ruby Preston is tired of her books being compared to NBC's "Smash". But with two and a half million viewers, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Both the hit TV series and Preston's novels have a bright and breezy tone matched with biting wit, all set inside the enigmatic world of the Broadway musical. Preston's novels are primarily dialogue driven, so it is not difficult to imagine them on the small screen. She even replaces 'chapters' with 'scenes'.

With her newest show biz tome "Staged", Preston extends the shelf life of her heroine, producer Scarlett Savoy, the focus of her first novel, "Show Biz". In "Staged" persistent producer Scarlett is trying by hook or crook to get her first big musical to the Great White Way. In the process she is offered a somewhat indecent proposal by a smarmy theater owner that compromises her integrity but just might help get her show the prime real estate she feels it deserves. Along the way we are introduced to Scarlett's colorful array of theatrical friends who, thanks to Preston's vivid and affectionate portrayals, often threaten to upstage our intrepid producer herself. There's even a delicious eleven o'clock twist worthy of any Broadway farce. If it weren't set so squarely in the present, we might even be reading a juicy pulp novel of Broadway in the 1940's.

Ruby Preston is the nom de plume of a real-life Broadway producer, so her insider's eye is spot on, while her affection for this business we call show is always apparent. Of course, all ends well for Miss Scarlett, as Preston has plans for yet a third installment in her "Broadway" trilogy. Until then, "Staged" makes perfect bed or beach reading for actors and audiences alike!

"Staged" is available from Dress Circle Publishing.

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From This Author Michael T. Mooney

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