Playbill Honors Max Wilk — the online Broadway bible — has posted a long tribute to Max Wilk.  The longtime Westport resident — known to the world as a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, show business chronicler and dramaturg — died here last Saturday .  He was 90.

Max Wilk

Playbill quoted Amy Saltz, a frequent director for the National Playwrights Conference, who said that Wilk “loved show business.  He was smart and sassy and blunt. He had great knowledge and experience, both of which he was anxious to share…. He (helped) writers, (offered) support, and (demanded) the best of everyone. He made an indelible impression and will be missed.”

Skip Mercier, a scenic and costume designer and longtime friend, added:

In typical Max form, plagued with growing dementia for his last week, he told me how hard it was not to have any ideas.  Then his eyes got wide and he said: “You know all the pictures on the wall in my study?”  [Many friends covered his walls; most deceased and famous].

I nodded.  “Well they are all in train windows — there’s a train just behind the walls you know. It’s waiting for me but I don’t know where it’s going! I hope it’s fun.'” …To the end, he was creative, funny, and with a unique take on life and whatever is beyond.

Ted Chapin, president of Rodgers & Hammerstein, told

Max Wilk lived an extraordinary life…. (He) will be missed for his passion, his intellect and his friendship.  He was part of Irving Berlin’s all-soldier WWII revue, “This Is the Army,” a true historian of Broadway’s “golden age” and a scholar of the American songbook…. Max was not only a chronicler of that world, but a vital part of it.”

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Mr. Wilk is currently being planned by the family in Westport for April.

3 responses to “Playbill Honors Max Wilk

  1. The Dude Abides

    I hate it when a hard written article does not get a comment but this one should have!!! Wilk was a legend. Wrote the novelization of the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” and for you RUDE RAGERS, listen to this warning, written by Wilk, on his book jacket:
    “While the locale of this book is Connecticut, it has nothing of importance to say about Suburbia, Excurbia, the Exploding Metropolis or the stifling wave of Middle Class Conformity which, it is augured (sic), will soon engulf the whole of Fairfield County.”
    You all are so worried about exits from band recitals and red chairs in parking lots to notice the passing of an original cynic of this area. See you along the road, Max. Thanks for your words.

  2. The Dude Abides

    Thank you for the correction. My apologies. I am not familiar with the word
    and assumptions drew me astray. And, of course, further proof why Messir Milk was a legend.