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Reviews and News

The latest review of SWING is by Yahoo! Contributor Mary Beth Magee.

If you have Amazon Prime you can now 'borrow' the Kindle version of SWING for FREE!

Here's another book review, by Scott Eyman of the Palm Beach Post.  

The list of positive reviews for SWING continues:

I highly recommend this book. I usually listen to audio books, but this is one book in print that I couldn't put down. Don't even think about it. Just read it! This is a good one.  

"SWING" is a great read, and a more than impressive, heartfelt, first novel from this author. Bravo!  

A great read about perseverance and acceptance and a trip to the world of Swing.

Here is my recommendation...buy it for your IPad or eReader, download some Louis Prima songs, put your earphones in, turn up the volume and enjoy it.

Alan Gerstel's Blog
headshot of Alan Gerstel, author


Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

It is also available as an ebook.


Entries in Drunken Porter (1)




MacBeth is one of Shakespeare's most well-known plays.  It is performed regularly at Shakespeare Festivals and on school campuses.  It's a dark, dreary play... so Shakespeare was wise enough to include some comic relief after a gory stabbing scene.  The comic relief was played out in the form of the Drunken Porter.

The role is fraught with risque humor, but when I was cast in the role, my Director encouraged me to take it even further.  He wanted me to ad-lib and react with the audience for additional comic effect.  This was the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival which utilizes an outdoor amphitheater for its July performances.  And it was hot.

One of my written lines was:  "This place is too cold for hell.  I'll devil-porter it no further."  Taking my cue from the heat, I broke from character and walked downstage to the audience, where I ad-libbed:  "Did any of you believe that line I just said?  Too cold for hell?  Would that it were too cold for hell for your sake as well as mine.  I can't imagine what sort of playwright would write those lines for me to say on a hot night like this.  He's probably a one-hit wonder.  We'll never hear from him again."

Then I would weave my dialog back into the scripted version and continue... knowing all along that I had just ad-libbed a scene in a Shakespeare play!!  Blasphemy or balls?  I still can't figure out which.

The next post:  Comments on the current production of “Twelfth Night” by the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival.