Cut Above Fiction
A chance encounter between Hollywood star Valeska Bernhart and Broadway impresario Glick Glickman renews their love of performing and begins an astonishing cascade of joy for everyone at West Palm Acres.
”West Palm Gig is hilarious! A master story teller, Surman transports you to the time and place of her stories effortlessly."
…Mark Romeo, Film Producer, The Man who Saved the World and Blue Gold: American Jeans
"To paraphrase a line from West Palm Gig, Surman’s books read in Technicolor, even though written in black and white."
…Carol Roan, Author of Speak Up
"Whether relaxing on the beach or lounging poolside, West Palm Gig will make for a hugely entertaining, laugh-out-loud, thought-provoking afternoon."
…Bob Burke, Floridian Entrepreneur, creator of the Coquina Line
Harry Goldberg and Oscar Shapiro made their way towards the elevator with the petite Valeska Bernhart between them. Her once famous legs were covered with a pair of black slacks and she was wearing simple white tennis shoes, not the fancy three-inch heels she had always been photographed in. As the trio shuffled towards the elevator, the newcomer to West Palm Acres told her companions that she was between thirty-one and death, had been married more times than she could remember and warningly, in the event they had any ideas, she told them she didn’t want to get married ever again.
“Of course, I still have my mansion in Beverly Hills,” she lied with a perfectly straight face, with no intention of ever telling them the truth, “in case this place doesn’t work out for me. I never liked Florida. Too humid. Servants are looking after the house. I didn’t want to sub-let. They ruin the place. You know how that can be.”
Retired tailors from the garment district in New York City, Harry and Oscar didn't know how that can be, but shook their heads in unison, mumbling a ‘mmm’ sound.
She had a captive audience and was milking it for all it was worth…adding, embellishing, omitting certain details…whatever made for a better story. Valeska Bernhart, the daughter of Minnie Rich and Herman Bernhart who came to the United States from Russia to start a new life. That part was the truth.
“And here I am in person. Valeska Bernhart. From Brooklyn to Hollywood to Beverly Hills to Santa Monica to West Palm Beach. It was at 2251 North Gower Street, Hollywood 28, California, where it all began. It wasn’t long before I was noticed and began working in films; not just working, starring. Then came the husbands, the houses, the daughter, the downfall. What goes up eventually must come down. Rarely does it go back up again. Maybe if you’re very very lucky or very very smart.”
The gentlemen were in awe as Valeska spouted her credits like a stream of liquid.
“When I splashed onto the screen, you know what they wrote in Variety? Quote: Valeska Bernhart is Technicolor even when she’s in black and white. Unquote.”
WEST PALM GIG