In Show and Tell, John Lahr, 'probably the most intelligent and insightful writer on theatre today' (The New York Times Book Review), reinvents the celebrity profile to get at the essence of performance. Lahr's utterly winning and incisive profiles probe some of the most compelling, elusive and irresistible public personas of our time, among them: Woody Allen, David Mamet, Ingmar Bergman, Frank Sinatra, Roseanne, Irving Berlin, Bob Hope, Mike Nichols, Wallace Shawn and Arthur Miller. In these, and the moving autobiographical portraits of his father, Bert Lahr, who was the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, and his mother, a former Ziegfeld girl, Lahr charts the geography of fame. Lahr's gift is to get inside both the art and the artist, to show how the work and the life intersect. He has had unusual access to his subjects, who talk to him with rare candour. In prose 'as lively as good conversation' (Robert Brustein), he arrives at truths of uncommon clarity, a claim seconded by Arthur Miller, who said that Lahr's essay on him is 'by far the best thing about my stuff I've ever read.'
These very special profiles, the product of eight years' work at The New Yorker, deepen our understanding of their subjects and the culture that they profoundly reflect. Show and Tell, like the icons whose lives and work it so meticulously chronicles, corrupts an audience with pleasure.show more