Saturday, June 9, 2001

Coming Attractions

Bobbi Marolt
Rising Tide Press

Reading Coming Attractions, Bobbi Marolt's first novel, is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Well known NYC newspaper columnist Helen Townsend has decided it's time to come out. Out of the emotional hiding she's been living in while recovering from the loss of her lover to cancer, and out of the "passing for straight" closet her feminine looks have allowed her. Come out in a big way.

Just as she begins to plan a major coming out show for herself and a number of broadway and motion picture stars, Helen meets Cory Chamberlain. Cory is beautiful, intelligent, enigmatic and a world renown pianist. Intensely attracted to one another, Cory and Helen become lovers. There are several obstacles on the way to the "Stars Come Out" show. Not the least of which is Cory's cold feet at participating in the show, after she is been offered the position as conductor of a Boston orchestra.

For its length, the plot seems unnecessarily complicated; consequently it sometimes lacks development or follow through of some story threads. And some of the secondary characters are difficult to keep straight (as it were). Marolt is willing to introduce a very powerful issue in the importance for gays and lesbians, particularly prominent professionals in show business, to come out. Yet she doesn't address the complexities of coming out to this reader's satisfaction. Having said that, Coming Attractions is a promising and entertaining first novel. It is interesting to have this "romance" deal with this issue in such a manner. And the ending at show night is fun and touching. Hopefully, Marolt will continue to develop her writing.

-MJ Lowe

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