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HERB ALPERT IS — The new doc on Herb Alpert, Herb Alpert Is starts off with Herb having breakfast and taking some vitamins … and, builds from there.

Alpert is the legendary performer, record company owner, and visionary, who at 84, has carved out quite a spectacular life for himself. Born in Los Angeles, Alpert narrates the exemplary life he’s had and keeps referencing the fact that if the music, or art, moves him, then he know he’s hit a home run.

Herb, with his Tijuana Brass ensemble, essentially captivated the music scene in the mid-60’s, with a stunning run of hit albums and singles. He also partnered up with legendary-music man Lou Adler and, together,  worked with the likes of Jan & Dean and Sam Cooke.

South of the Border, the third album by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, originally released in 1964, contained the track “The Mexican Shuffle”, which was reworked for a TV ad for a brand of chewing gum popular at the time, and re-styled as “The Teaberry Shuffle.” It was, perhaps, the first-ever example of product placement.

Needless to say, it was a phenomenal and pushed Alpert and the Brass to even greater success.

Alpert said that while he was searching for that first record deal, he was surprised how little involvement artists actually had with record companies and vowed one day, if he got the chance, he’d have his own company that favored interaction with their artists.

A&M Records was born and with partner Jerry Moss, they turned the label into am worldwide phenomena. Signing artist like The Carpenters, Sting, Joe Cocker, Joan Armatrading, Peter Frampton, Supertramp, Cat Stevens, Carole King, Amy Grant, Bryan Adams, Sheryl Crow, Squeeze, The Police and more, A&M was always considered a place for artists.

I worked with some of their label people, including Gil Friesen, Michael Leon and Jerry Love, and truly, they loved the music and the artists. Their meticulous care and work made artists like Armatrading into major successes.

Despite the enormous success Alert had, he was in a relationship that was not working. Sergio Mendes’ lead singer, Lani Hall, was someone who immediately caught Alpert’s eye and ear and soon, they were together.

Alpert again enjoyed a massive, worldwide hit with his “Rise,” which is still played to this day.

Concurrent with all this, Alpert’s eye for art began to grow and he began to paint and sculpt. His work is quite amazing, as his paintings began to be exhibited everywhere.

Documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld has made many documentaries over the years, many of which have centered on iconoclast artists including John Lennon (The U.S. vs. John Lennon), John Coltrane (Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary), Harry Nilsson (Who is Harry Nillson—And Why is Everyone Talkin’ About Him?), and, Rosemary Clooney (Rosemary Clooney: Girl Singer—Songs from the Classic Television Series”) as well as notable people in other fields. This latest, a documentary on Alpert, was inspired by someone close to his heart.

“It’s all my mother’s fault,” Scheinfeld says. “When I was growing up, she used to play Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass records all the time and she would dance around the house.”

The prolific filmmaker says he couldn’t help but be affected by the music that so delighted his mother, noting that the distinctive music that emanated from the famed trumpeter and his band was inspiring and uplifting. So, when he finally had an opportunity to make a film about the noted musician, businessman, artist and philanthropist, it was a no-brainer.

Scheinfeld notes, “Alpert’s story was unique in that he is one of the rare talents who emerged in the 1960’s with great success in a short period of time, and yet managed to survive the pitfalls of fame and fortune that so frequently crippled other music geniuses. He’s also one of the rare record label producers who is roundly beloved by the musicians he has worked with over the years as many of them attest in the film. Now, in his mid-80’s, Alpert continues to foster and support emerging artists through his Herb Alpert Foundation, in which he has given significant philanthropic support to educational programs in the arts nationwide, from the Harlem School of the Arts to the Los Angeles City CollegeCalArts and UCLA. To date, he has given away $150 million, and in support of the arts.”

And, Scheinfeld adds., “Nobody but The Beatles sold more records than Herb did during that time.”

It’s a bold look behind Alpert; a master musician and innovator, definitely recommended. Kudos to my friend Raquel Bruno was involved in the production.

NO TIME FOR BOND? — The next James Bond movie, No Time To Die, has been postponed from a theatrical release four times. It was reported over the weekend that MGM (who distributes the film) was in talks with Netflix and Apple TV about a possible release.

Netflix reportedly offered up $400 million, but the producers countered with $600 million. No Time to Die may have no time left to wait for theaters to reopen.

The next official release –and, definitely subject to change- is April 20201.

Per Roger Friedman/SHOWBIZ 411: “MGM is in a bind, too. They were counting on No Time to Die to generate gazillions. They were going to use that cash flow to give Respect, the Aretha Franklin movie, a big Oscar push. Now they’re in a cash crunch, and there’s been talk of moving Respect from its January 15, 2021 release date. With Jennifer Hudson eyeing an Oscar nomination, this would be a dreadful mistake. And really, at this point, why not just do it, give Daniel Craig a respectful send off, and plan a new Bond movie with Idris Elba — the one that audiences want so desperately? Makes a lot of sense.”

One wag posted a very disturbing opinion: Cinemas won’t be open before 2025. It will take about three years to saturate the public. After a vaccine is found.

They will not recoup before 2026.

SHORT TAKES — Joy Behar is threatening to leave the US if Trump wins? How can The View still be on the air? So, so tired that show …Watched that ABC 20/20 special on John Lennon. I tell you it still hurts. I was involved in the whole Apple Records-affair back then; met Allen Klein; Al Steckler; and Helen Seamen and suffice to say, all these years later it  still hurts. There was no May Pang in the special, but lots and lots of Jack Douglas, Earl Slick, radio’s Dave Sholin (who is a good guy) and, Bob Gruen. Nothing really new, but it still hurt to see it all again. I have to tell you, I have always been suspicious of people living too much off the past. I’m not saying we shouldn’t remember, but there’s got to be a line …

 Andre Ginnane 

This Friday, author Andre Ginnane releases her next two Adventures Of Sal books, via Yorkshire Press,The Pet Playground in the Sky and The Super Hero Mobile. Ginnane does the Zach Martin podcast this Thursday … 

Skyhorse Publishing releases the paperback edition of Mark Bego’s Eat Like A Rock Star on November 24 .. EXCLUSIVE: per Rockers On Broadway-producer Cori Gardner, just booked – Joan Jett, for their Monday, November 9 presentation.

NAMES THE NEWS — Pete Bennett; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Bob Austin; Marty Ostrow; Bill Wardlow; Bobby Shaw; Melissa Davis; Randy Alexander; Vic Kastel; Keith Girard; Robert Funaro; Joanna Bonaro; Wendy Stuart Kaplan; Heather Moore; Harvey Levin; Kent Kotal; and, CHIP!

G. H. Harding is a four decades insider to the entertainment world. He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production He’s worked for record companies; movie companies; video-production companies and several cable outlets. His anonymity is essential in bringing an unbiased view to his writings on pop culture. He is based in NYC.

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Book Reviews

Steven Immerman’s In Search of Pleasure Island



G.H. Harding

Steven Immerman’s debut novel In Search of Pleasure Island delves into the bowels of ‘international sex trafficking’ as Dr. Mathew Noble (a professor of criminology and retired special warfare operator) journeys across the globe in the search for his daughter and the men responsible for her abduction and his wife’s murder.

Framed for both crimes, Noble is taken into custody by crooked FBI agents, shot and tossed over a cliff into a raging river. Miraculously Noble survives. Now considered a fugitive, Noble is forced to live in the shadows as he takes on the most important mission of his life.

With his knowledge of criminology, his elite military training, and the help of his Delta Force teammates, Noble’s search takes him back to his hometown of Philadelphia, down through the back country of West Virginia, across the Atlantic, to Paris, Milan, Lake Como, and eventually to Pleasure Island – an impenetrable fortress off the coast of Tunisia in North Africa.

In Search of Pleasure Island is a engrossing read. Immerman’s specific descriptions of the ways-and-means of each character is positively enticing.

Immerman grew up in Northern New Jersey. While studying economics at Temple University in Philadelphia, he joined the teamsters, working at a local trucking company. After graduating college, Steven moved to NYC and began a career in advertising, all the while making time to travel the globe to places like Tibet, China, Western Europe, and Central America.

While in New York Steve attended NYU’s school of film and television where he developed his love for writing. Eventually Steven made his way to Los Angeles where he represented a number of novelists to the film and TV community. In Search of Pleasure Island is his first novel.

We ZOOM-ed with the West Coast-based Immerman for our interview:

Steven Immerman

T2C: Pleasure Island is your first novel and it’s a great read. How long had you wanted to write this first one?

Steven Immerman: Since I was a kid, I always had a vivid imagination, playing with toy soldiers creating battles and campaigns. As an adult, while running a company in NYC, I took 3 semesters of screenwriting classes at NYU (film and TV) at night but wound up representing other well-known authors to the filmed entertainment community in Los Angeles. Almost 4 years ago, with some time on my hands, I started gathering ideas and stories I wanted to tell. The notion of sex trafficking was always so abhorrent to me, and I became interested in doing research. It became the genesis of this book.

T2C: The book ends on a great note – which I won’t give away here- setting up the sequel. Are you at work on that now?

Steven Immerman: Unlike many action thrillers that focus on the hero and his or her travels, I wanted to give an in-depth portrayal of the victim and her journey as well. In many ways she IS the heroine of the story. It was always her story, just as much as Noble our hero.  I struggled with this during the process but settled on making Noble the main character. So, without giving it all away… hopefully there will be a sequel?

T2C: Obviously your film and TV background helped with the direction of the book as it’s just about perfect for a TV-movie or film? Might that be happening?

Steven Immerman: My writing style is direct.  I just picture what is happening and write it as if I was watching it on the screen or telling the story to a friend. My agent, Tony Seidl and I worked together many years ago representing well-established authors published works to the filmed and entertainment community. It takes an awful lot to take a book and bring it to the small or big screen. I believe In Search of Pleasure Island would be great entertainment for Netflix or Paramount, or any of the major streaming services, or even a motion picture.

T2C: Who would you like to see play Mathew Noble?

Steven Immerman: Tough Question.   Noble and Dutch -from the book- are my favorite characters, although Danni, Noble’s daughter is special to me as well.  I also, always love a good villain. and we have plenty in this book.

Back to your question. Depends on if it’s for the big screen or a series. Noble is both vulnerable and tough. He is a family man but also a veteran special warfare operator and a master profiler. Mark Walberg, Chris Hemsworth, Jason Statham, Hugh Jackman, Keanu Reeves, Mark Damon are a few names that come to mind.

Dutch – he’s older, hardened and a “no holds bar” “son of a bitch”, and based on a real person; actually two! I think it’s a great part for some of our well established tough guy action stars … Liam Neeson, Denzel, Stallone, and Schwarzenegger of course

T2C: What books and authors have you followed?

Steven Immerman: Its eclectic. But what sparked me to write this book was the Man On Fire book by A. J. Quinnell. So In Search of Pleasure Island is an ode to that author.

James Fenimore Cooper in the original English (Leather Stocking Tales). I enjoy seeing how those people wrote in his day and it feels like you are there. LOVE Robert Ludlum (Osterman Weekend and the Bourne trilogies) I enjoy  Nelson DeMille (The General’s Daughter and Charm School). A different genre but I enjoyed Hannibal Rising and Red Dragon. Godfather of course … but also enjoyed Harper Lee’s  To Kill A Mockingbird; and Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea and The Sun Also Rises.


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Book Reviews

Merrily, Gatsby, Mary Jane, and More Win Applause at 2024 Audience Choice Awards




Merrily We Roll Along has continued its award-winning roll, topping the list of winners for the 2024 Audience Choice Awards, chosen by readers.

The hit revival won in a total of five categories, including Favorite Musical Revival. They honored all three of its stars: Jonathan Groff was named Favorite Performance of the Year (Musical), while Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez won in featured categories. Groff and Radcliffe also won a second award for the category of Favorite Onstage Pair.

The Great Gatsby won the award for Favorite New Musical, while the musical’s stars Jeremy Jordan and Eva Noblezada won in the leading musical acting categories. Other musical performers who won awards included Spamalot’s Leslie RodriguezKritzer for Favorite Diva Performance, Gutenberg! The Musical! star Josh Gad for Favorite Funny Performance, and Grant Gustin, the lead of Water for Elephants, won for Favorite Breakthrough Performance.

Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer (center) and the cast of Spamalot. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman, 2023.

On the play front, David Adjmi’s Stereophonic was named Favorite New Play, and An Enemy of the People won for Favorite Play Revival. Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch star Leslie Odom, Jr. and Mary Jane star Rachel McAdams won in the leading acting categories, with Appropriate‘s Elle Fanning and Alex Brightman from The Shark is Broken named featured acting favorites.

The Audience Choice Awards contains many unique categories. Favorite Replacement awards, honoring actors who stepped into hit shows, were won by Jordan Fisher for Hadestown and Sutton Foster for Sweeney Todd. The composer for The Notebook, Ingrid Michelson won for Favorite New Song for “Carry You Home.

This year’s winners will be honored at a private reception at 48 Lounge on June 6.

A complete list of winners follows.

The cast of Stereophonic on Broadway. Photo by Julieta Cervantes.

Favorite New Musical
The Great Gatsby (Book by Kait Kerrigan, Music by Jason Howland, Lyrics by Nathan Tysen)

Favorite New Play
Stereophonic (Written by David Adjmi)

Favorite Musical Revival
Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Play Revival
An Enemy of the People

Favorite Long-Running Show

Favorite Tour

Favorite Performance of the Year (Musical)
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Performance of the Year (Play)
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Leslie Odom, Jr. and Kara Young in Purlie Victorious – Photo by Marc J. Franklin.

Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical
Jeremy Jordan, The Great Gatsby

Favorite Leading Actress in a Musical
Eva Noblezada, The Great Gatsby

Favorite Leading Actor in a Play
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch

Favorite Leading Actress in a Play
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane

Favorite Featured Actor in a Musical
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Featured Actress in a Musical
Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Featured Actor in a Play
Alex Brightman, The Shark is Broken

Favorite Featured Actress in a Play
Elle Fanning, Appropriate

Sarah Paulson and Elle Fanning in 2ST’s Appropriate. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Favorite Diva Performance
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Spamalot

Favorite Funny Performance
Josh Gad, Gutenberg! The Musical!

Favorite Onstage Pair
Jonathan Groff and Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Male)
Grant Gustin, Water for Elephants

Favorite Breakthrough Performance (Female)
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane

Favorite Replacement (Male)
Jordan Fisher, Hadestown

Favorite Replacement (Female)
Sutton Foster, Sweeney Todd

Favorite New Song
“Carry You Home,” The Notebook (Music and Lyrics by Ingrid Michelson)

Rachel McAdams in MTC’s Mary Jane. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Shows with Multiple Wins
Merrily We Roll Along – 5
The Great Gatsby – 3
Mary Jane – 2
Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch – 2

Performers with Multiple Wins
Jonathan Groff, Merrily We Roll Along – 2
Rachel McAdams, Mary Jane – 2
Leslie Odom, Jr., Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch – 2
Daniel Radcliffe, Merrily We Roll Along – 2

Jeremy Jordan, Eva Noblezada, and the cast of The Great Gatsby. Photo by Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

For more go to



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Book Reviews

Mark Bego: The Prince Of Pop Biographies Gets Political With Yorkshire Publishing’s Campaigning For President



What is the best-selling rock & roll biographer in the show business realm doing, writing a book on politics with “Campaigning For President?” asks author Mark Bego, “One of the reasons why this is a viable transition into another literary genre for me, is that political campaigns are 90% show business, and the act of finding an audience and playing to it—just like the music business.”

Mark Bego

Bego, whose last two books— “Band of Gold” with Freda Payne, and “Joe Cocker:  With A LOT of Help from His Friends”—both from Yorkshire Publishing—electrified the charts and further solidified his position as “the Prince of Pop Biographies” (a title given to him by Publisher’s Weekly).  On the heels of the Cocker biography, Bego was approached about reviving and updating the popular 2008 book: “Campaigning For President.”  According to him, “I am always up for a new literary adventure—and this seemed like a fun and historically relevant one to be involved with!”

Jordan M. Wright was the owner of the world’s most extensive collection of U.S. Presidential campaign memorabilia when he published the original 2008 book, “Campaigning For President.”  Only months later Wright tragically died, and his collection eventually found a permanent home at Long Island University. Since that time there have been five new presidential campaigns to write about, including the current 2024 Trump vs. Biden battle.  Bego was approached by Wright’s widow, Pamala Wright, about writing five new chapters, a new beginning, and re-imagining the original coffee table book.  “It intrigued me, and I was up for the challenge,” proclaims Bego.

According to Mark, “The five political campaigns that I have written about for this book have undoubtedly been the most dramatic ones ever mounted. And, the best part of this assignment is the fact that the book does not take political sides.  It is all about the memorabilia that is created for a presidential campaign, not the politics of it.  You can be a Republican, an Independent, or a Democrat, and still find everything in this book to be fascinating and of historical significance.”

“In my mind, a political rally can unfold the same way as a rock concert,” says Bego. “People can walk away from such an event with a Donald Trump ‘MAGA’ hat, or an ‘I’m With Hillary’ bumper sticker, or any number of catchy marketing items.  While I have spent my time collecting PEZ dispensers, and memorabilia on The Supremes and The Beatles, the original author of this book—Jordan M. Wright—was busy collecting political campaign items from George Washington in the 1780’s, up to George W. Bush in the 2000’s.  It is basically the same act, just a different arena.”

This new and fully updated version of the lavishly illustrated book “Campaigning For President,” with all new Bego material, is due to be released on June 4 from Yorkshire Publishing.  It represents Mark’s 69th published book.

Bego explains, “There is flattering memorabilia in this book about every candidate, and there are also some unflattering memorabilia about many of them too.  My task here is to present both sides of the coins, and to view the items in this book for their cleverness, their bitchiness, their ideals, their humor, and—ultimately—their effectiveness in the political outcome.”

Mark Bego’s next literary effort will undoubtedly return him to his musical wheelhouse. “I have several titles in my head; and in fact, have already begun writing one of them,” confirms the author.

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Book Reviews

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Four Award-Winning Musical Theatre Writers Who Turned to Writing Books



“Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents”, is  filmed live every Wednesday from 5 – 6 in the lobby of the iconic Hotel Edison, before a live audience.

In this episode T2C’s publisher and owner Suzanna Bowling talks with Douglas J Cohen, Stephen Cole ,Alison Louise Hubbard and David Spencer, musical theatre writers, who all have books out.

We are so proud because the show and our guests are now featured on the TV screens in the lobby and the hotel rooms.

I am so grateful to my guests Douglas J Cohen How To Survive A Killer Musical: Agony and Ecstasy on the Road to Broadway, Stephen Cole Mary & Ethel… and Mikey Who?, Alison Louise Hubbard The Kelsey Outrage, The Crime of the Century A historical true crime novel and David Spencer The Novelizers: An Affectionate History of Media Adaptations and Originals, Their Astonishing Authors—and the Art of the Craft

Thank-you Magda Katz for videoing and creating the content to go live, the audience who showed up to support us, Rommel Gopez and The Hotel Edison for their kindness and hospitality.

You can catch us on the following platforms:





Apple Podcasts:

We hope to see you there on April 24th. We will be announcing our guests tomorrow.

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Book Reviews

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents Four Award-Winning Musical Theatre Writers Who Turned to Writing Books



I am so pleased to announce our guest for next Wednesday’s show on April 17th are four award-winning musical theatre writers who turned to writing books.

For a veteran musical theatre dramatist, getting a new musical on is rarely easy, even at the healthiest of times. But when a pandemic stops everything cold—and a restless creative spirit is driven to both keep writing and reach an audience—what can be done? Well, four musical dramatists independently decided to meet the challenge head on with the same answer: Write a book! But their creative paths to near- simultaneous publication would be as unique as the rave-reviewed books themselves. And when they realized that their musical theatre backgrounds cast them as an equally unique quartet…they decided to come full circle back to the theatre community …to tell that story…the story of how their incredible books came to be…which in its way is also a universal story; a story for our time. A story of taking stock, taking a deep breath, taking new steps…and turning the page. Here are our writers:


David Spencer is an award-winning musical dramatist, author, critic and musical theatre teacher, whose work has been produced in the US, Canada and England. His most well-known credits as lyricist-librettist are two musicals in collaboration with composer Alan Menken: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, based on the novel by Moredecai Richler (original cast album on Ghostlight Records) and Weird Romance (co-librettist: Alan Brennert; original cast album digital-on-demand from Columbia Masterworks). He made his professional debut writing the acclaimed colloquial English-language adaptation of La Bohème for the Public Theatre; and as composer-lyricist wrote scores and orchestrations for Theatreworks/USA’s young audience versions of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables (librettist-director for both: Rob Barron). His published books are The Musical Theatre Writer’s Survival Guide (Heinemann), the acting edition of Weird Romance (Samuel French)—and, pulpsmith proud, Passing Fancy, an original novel based on the TV series Alien Nation (PocketBooks). He recently completed a draft of his first straight play, Spirit Run (story by him and Jerry James).

David is an ex officio steering committee and faculty member of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, where he taught for over 25 years, and has also taught at HB Studio, Workshop Studio Theater in New York; and Goldsmith’s College and BML in London.

His book is The Novelizers: An Affectionate History of Media Adaptations and Originals, Their Astonishing Authors—and the Art of the Craft


 Stephen Cole is an award-winning musical theatre writer whose shows have been produced from New York City to London to the Middle East and Australia. His off-Broadway musical with Matthew Ward, After The Fair, was nominated for the Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Best Musical and was subsequently produced in London to great acclaim. The Night Of The Hunter won the prestigious Edward Kleban Award and was produced in New York City, Dallas, and San Francisco, where it was nominated for several Bay Area Theatre Awards. The award-winning 1998 concept CD features Ron Raines, Sally Mayes, and Dorothy Loudon. Saturday Night At Grossinger’s has had successful runs in Texas (starring Gavin MacLeod), Los Angeles, and Florida. Broadway legend Chita Rivera toured in Casper, and Hal Linden and Dee Hoty starred in the world premiere of his musical adaptation of Dodsworth. In 2005, Stephen was commissioned to write Aspire, the first American musical to premiere in the Middle East. This experience resulted in another musical about the creation of that show entitled The Road To Qatar!, produced to rave reviews and awards Off-Broadway, in London, and at the Edinburgh Festival, garnering a Best Musical nomination. Among his other produced shows are Rock Odyssey, which played to hundreds of thousands of kids for ten seasons of productions at the Adrienne Arscht Center in Miami, and Merman’s Apprentice, presented in concert at Birdland in New York City, followed by an all-star cast album on Jay Records, and an acclaimed premiere production in Sonoma, CA in 2019. Stephen’s latest critically acclaimed musical is Goin’ Hollywood. Stephen’s published books include That Book About That Girl and I Could Have Sung All Night, the Marni Nixon story, currently in development as a feature film from Amazon. Stephen has also written several published stories and his real-life friendships with Ethel Merman and Mary Martin resulted in this, his first novel. Visit