Maurice Chevalier was the quintessential Frenchman. He introduced the world to such memorable songs as Louise, Mimi, You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me, and, from the Academy Award-winning film, Gigi, Thank Heaven for Little Girls. Privately, the man was t anything like his happy-go-lucky public persona. Insecure and dour, the only true loves in his life were his mother, who died in the 1930s, and the vast international audiences that adored him. Michael B. Druxman's play is set in 1963, when the star's failing health makes his ability to perform in the future questionable. Reminiscing backstage in his dressing room, he talks about his days of glory in the French music halls, his early Hollywood movies, romantic encounters with Marlene Dietrich and other well-kwn personalities, as well as the more unnerving times, such as his experiences in France and Germany during WW2 when he was falsely accused of being a Nazi collaborator. CHEVALIER is an affectionate, revealing, song-filled portrait of the man that America once called the French Al Jolson.
Michael B. Druxman is a veteran Hollywood screenwriter whose credits include CHEYENNE WARRIOR with Kelly Preston; DILLINGER AND CAPONE starring Martin Sheen and F. Murray Abraham; and THE DOORWAY with Roy Scheider, which he also directed. He is also a prolific playwright, his one-person play, JOLSON, having had numerous productions around the country. Other produced stage credits include one-person plays about Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Spencer Tracy and Orson Welles. Additionally, Mr. Druxman is the author of thirteen other published books, including several nonfiction works about Hollywood, its movies, and the people who make them (e.g., BASIL RATHBONE: His Life and His Films, MAKE IT AGAIN, SAM: A Survey of Movie Remakes, ONE GOOD FILM DESERVES ANOTHER: A Survey of Movie Sequels, MERV [Griffin] and THE MUSICAL: From Broadway to Hollywood). He has written two novels, NOBODY DROWNS IN MINERAL LAKE and SHADOW WATCHER, plus the humorous revisionist history, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: From the Secret Files of Harry Pennypacker, and FAMILY SECRET, a non-fiction book co-authored with Warren Hull, which reveals the true facts behind the 1947 murder of mobster Bugsy Siegel in Beverly Hills. An acknowledged Hollywood historian, he has also written television documentaries and has been interviewed for various retrospective featurettes that have accompanied DVD releases of classic films (e.g. THE MALTESE FALCON, etc.). Mr. Druxman is a former Hollywood publicist of 35 years experience who has represented many film and television stars, as well as noted directors, producers and composers. One of his Academy Award campaigns is often mentioned in books dealing with Oscar's history. He has taught various dramatic writing and film appreciation courses in an adult university and is the author of How to Write a Story...Any Story: THE ART OF STORYTELLING, which has been used as a text in several colleges. A native of Seattle who graduated from Garfield High School and the University of Washington, Mr. Druxman moved with his wife, Sandy, from Los Angeles to Austin, TX in 2009. His memoir, MY FORTY-FIVE YEARS IN HOLLYWOOD AND HOW I ESCAPED ALIVE, is published by Bear Manor Media.