Carl Reiner is laughing, that’s who. The reviews on “Enter Laughing,” the musical based on his book have put an added smile on Reiner’s face. His novel, which he wrote in 1958, was rewritten as a play by Joe Stein and directed successfully on B’way by Reiner, who then also reined the successful movie, But “Enter Laughing” did not fare well when, in 1976, it returned to the stage as a musical, “So Long, 174th Street” and lasted only 16 performances.
Now the musical vesion, back again and at the York theater, is receiving rave reactions. Further, Reiner tells me the show is being paged by theater companies around the country. And further, says Reiner, a musical film version of “Enter Laughing” is also being talked.
Never one to rest on laurels in any creative field, Reiner is readying the release of two of his books, “Carl Reiner’s Novel Beginnings” and “Just Desserts,” both published by Phoenix. (He’s no stranger to the label, having narrated their Mark Twain stories on tape).
Reiner’s “Novel Beginings” tell only the beginnings (1-8 pages) of 26 of his new stories. Readers who buy the book, vie to win a $25,000 prize by writing the rest of any of Reiner’s novel beginnings. Meanwhile, “Just Desserts” is, says Reiner, “my take on religion.” It’s a novel whose lead characater is “Nat Noland” — whom we first met in Reiner’s book, “Mmmmm.” Hmmmmm.