Deep Are the Roots. by Arnaud d'Usseau 0000-00-00 00:00:00

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by Arnaud d'Usseau
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Arnaud d'Usseau
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An accomplished actor whose career spanned 5 decades on the stages of New York, London and Paris, Gordon Heath (1918-1991) achieved national prominence in 1945 for his starring role in the Broadway production of "Deep Are the Roots", a searing exploration of American race relations at the close of World War II. By 1948, like other black artists before him, he had moved to France. With his longtime companion, Lee Payant, he opened the nightclub L'Abbaye in Paris and continued to perform on stage in Great Britain, Europe and the United States. Reviewing the New York production of "Oedipus" in 1970, Clive Barnes wrote in the New York Times, "A man born to play the prince, Mr Heath has an instinctive nobility and moves and talks with all the natural authority of a classic hero. In this memoir, Heath tells the story of his formative years - his childhood on Manhattan's West Side, his summer sojourns at a camp for black youngsters in upstate New York, his awakening sexuality, his education in and out of school, his training in music, art, voice and dance, and his plunge into a life in the theater. Recounting his experiences from Broadway to London's West End, he offers deft sketches of such friends as Owen Dodson, Elia Kazan and Pearl Primus. The result is an engaging portrait of a black artist as a young man and an important contribution to theatre history.


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