About The Book
Lauded by Peter Marks of The New York Times as “powerfully unsettling . . . an enormously moving play,” Side Man is the comic and tender story of Clifford, a young man who looks back on his family life. Prior to leaving home, Clifford reconciles the role that he has long played as parent to his parents. Smoothly gliding between present and past, it tells the story of a time before The Beatles and Elvis, when jazzmen were as heroic as ball players and there was no shortage of Saturday night gigs. Side Man is both a tribute to the men whose lives were their music and a sober look at a family drama left in the wake of that passion.
‘side Man is a work in the great tradition of The Glass Menagerie and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.” —Donald Lyons, The Wall Street Journal
“Side Man is a memory play with a difference. For it is not simply the story of its first-person narrator, a young man called Clifford, and his tortuous relations with his father, Gene, mother, Terry, and their circle, but also the story of a lost era in American popular music: the rise, decline and fall of the big bands. . . . This truly is a play to conjure with, a play to hold you engrossed at the time, but then offer you a reflective aftertaste, leaving you savoring, with nostalgic regret, the diminution of a peculiarly American art form.”—Clive Barnes, New York Post
“Leight does full justice both to the sordid side of the jazz world and to the moments of pure joy that the players experience when they “keep time so well it stood still for them.””—Fintan O’Toole, New York Daily News