Book Summary


A once-aspiring Broadway playwright of the 1950s, Mark Gessel, now 88, looks back on his life from the dayroom of a New Jersey nursing home. While his body may be infirm, his mind is still razor-sharp and brimming with stories from the heyday of New York City’s cultural scene in the middle of the twentieth century. While old age has made it difficult for Mark to physically write his stories, he tells them with passion, humor and self-reflection to his dutiful son, who gives him a computer to make recording them easier.

The white lights of Broadway illuminate Mark’s story of youthful ambition as he goes from being the son of poor Jewish immigrants to a player in the high-pressure, ego-driven, cut-throat world of show business. Mark candidly explores his struggles with cultural mores, manic-depression, an unhappy marriage and a torrid affair with a young shiksa ingenue.

Pull back the curtain on the real-life drama of Broadway and share in the joys and sorrows of a man in the twilight of his life. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s raw. It’s, “The Bitch of Broadway!”

“The Bitch of Broadway,” is sure to be another fascinating title in Bilker’s collection of fictional works which include “The Extras and Extra,” “Genetic Faux Pas,” “Apartment Hunting,” and many, many more.

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