Master of Ceremonies: A Memoir

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About the Author

Joel Grey is a Tony, Golden Globe, and Oscar-winning actor, producer, and director. In his seven decades in entertainment, Joel has acted in over a dozen Broadway productions, over twenty films, and countless television appearances. Along with his work on the stage and screen, Joel is a renowned photographer. He lives in New York City.


Simply smashing, - The New York Times Book Review "Joel's story comes straight from his heart right into yours." --Carol Burnett "A very honest and moving telling of a very complicated and talented life. By the end, it's inspirational." --Larry Kramer "We all know that Joel Grey has lived an extraordinary life--from nightclubs to Broadway to the silver screen--but who knew he could write about it with such artistry? At once a riveting, heartbreaking memoir, thrilling show business tell-all and a portrait of a changing time and nation, MASTER OF CEREMONIES is the remarkable story of a living legend." --Gay Talese As refreshingly honest look back at an actor's life, regrets and all. - People Magazine "Joel Grey's memoir charts his voyage of discovery. Clearly, he needed to write this book and it is authentically compelling. He knew when we resurrected the little Emcee I had seen as a member of the occupation troops in Stuttgart in 1951 that he was a tragic figure and, because he invested him with compassion, along with the worst taste and hideous desperation, he became one of the most iconic figures in musical theatre history. No one has ever matched him. No one ever will. Read Master of Ceremonies!" --Hal Prince "The memoir of a magical man should be a magical book, and Master of Ceremonies is fully the match of its author's many enchantments. Joel Grey has written a candid and courageous book about a life of rough but enviable richness. Happy is the man who has this story for his own." --Leon Wieseltier "In Master of Ceremonies, Joel Grey succeeds in portraying his own anecdote- and secret-rich life with the same sensitivity, wit, and chutzpah as those of his most memorable characters; but where, on stage and screen, so often through the years he has dazzled us by the putting on of masks, here he dazzles us by the removal of them. The result is a literary performance not to be missed." --John Burnham Schwartz, Author of The Commoner and Reservation Road As readers of "Master of Ceremonies" will discover, Grey's life story has its own dark undercurrent, namely his decades-long struggle to accept his sexuality. - The New Yorker The diminutive, unforgettable creator of the emcee in Cabaret both on stage and on screen writes frankly of his diverse career, exacting mother, and public embrace of his homosexuality...An honest, eloquent, memorable autobiography. - Kirkus He was a successful nightclub entertainer who didn't want to be a nightclub entertainer. He was ready to give up show business when he got the role of a lifetime -- playing a sleazy nightclub entertainer. And he was (and is) a gay man who says unequivocally that the love of his life was a woman. Such are the complexities of the life of Joel Grey, recounted with candor and charm in his new memoir, Master of Ceremonies. - The Advocate

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