Lost to the ages, the short-running show Kensapoppin’ examined issues of public and private identity and is hailed as a lost masterpiece of early-21st century musical theater.

A high-profile spat doomed the show just before opening day. Join us at as we go backstage to unveil the mythos – and some of the surprising material – behind Broadway’s most spectacular flop in three generations.

Today, we’ll share a publicity photo of on-again, off-again star Ken Goldstein in his Skee-Man uniform, the primary costume for the first act of the wide-ranging show. Promoted as the first one-man musical “with a cast of millions,” the show’s gimmick was that the supporting cast always appeared on stage wearing masks that reproduced the visage of Goldstein.

The masks were also slated to be distributed to the audience of each show, but at the last minute it was determined that this would be likely to cut into expected concession sales (which included a molded-plastic Halloween-style mask in both adult and children’s sizes).

When the show closed tragically early (subsequent to an astonishing media circus which we shall examine in greater detail later in the week), the masks were simply loaded onto barges and taken out to sea for dumping, where they are still tracked around the world today.

From time to time, a mask will surface on eBay, where they reliably fetch sale prices of three and four dollars each.

We encourage our readership to join us in reminiscing about this overlooked show business milestone. Perhaps some of you were involved in the production or were fortunate enough to catch the show itself. Some of our readers may even have covered it for the press.

If you have recollections or memorabilia, please, feel free to share them with the world, and let us know about them here at Ken Goldstein Of The Week Week.

This has been your

Ken Goldstein Of The Week Week


Thank you.

(tomorrow: an exciting excerpt from the book for Kensapoppin’!)

2 thoughts on “KENSAPOPPIN': a fond look back (part 1)

  1. Man, this one had me howling. The bit about dumping the plastic masks and tracking them years later was positively theatre of the absurd.

    Is there really going to be part 2? I can hardly wait…

    [she sits on the edge of her chair, on tenterhooks, with bated breath, in eager anticipation, etc. etc.]

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