The third most famous export from Hoboken, New Jersey (after Frank Sinatra and raw sewage), Mack Diamond began his career as a child star, singing on street corners with his two older brothers, Shlomo and Moishe. A chance encounter outside the Clam Broth House with the booking agent Hymie Lefkowitz led to seven fairly successful seasons at Grossinger’s (yes, the Grossinger’s) in the Catskills. “3 Jews 3”, as the boys were known, opened for the likes of Steve & Edie Abramowitz, Sidney Bishop (Joey’s 2nd cousin), and the one-woman Israeli Sha Na Na tribute act, Shoshana. After Moishe (that bum) left the trio to play Mendel the Rabbi’s son in the third national tour of Fiddler on the Roof, Mack & Shlomo tried to continue as “2 Jews 2”, but the magic was gone and the boys went their separate ways. This led to a decade of depression and alcoholism, which Mack is pretty sure he spent in Vegas (where else?). There, he spent eight years performing his one-man show, A Yiddishe Mackie, for the 3AM seating at the 24-hour buffet at the Imperial Palace (yes, the Imperial Palace). Along the way, he met the lovely Poppy Fields while she was in the chorus of Jubilee! (but if you ask me it might as well have been a strip club, she was wearing practically nothing, I’m just saying) and married her which promptly killed his mother.
Singer. Showgirl. Southern Belle. Poppy Fields escaped (some reports say “was kicked out of ”) the narrow-minded confines of Possum Trot, Alabama and traveled the world as a singer/dancer/actress; entertaining celebrities, businessmen, and heads-of-state (both onstage and off ). After a successful beauty pageant career (Miss Cotton Gin 1987 and Miss Boll Weevil 1990 are among her many titles), Poppy began her love affair with the theatrical stage (and a few stagehands) in a triumphant turn as Anytime Annie in the second bus-and-truck company of 42nd Street. A multitude of stage roles followed, but eventually the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas would call, and her legendary topless tenure in the chorus of Jubilee! began. Critics have fondly remarked that “no showgirl could work a cage or a pole as well as Poppy Fields.” During those Vegas years, Poppy wed and divorced her first four husbands before finally meeting and marrying the “Sensation of the 24-hour Buffet”, entertainer Mack Diamond. Poppy has been quoted as saying, “some girls work their way up through their marriages. I worked my way down.” Regardless of their tumultuous love affair, being one-half of the celebrated cabaret duo Mack & Poppy, is among her proudest accomplishments. (Well, that and Miss Boll Weevil 1990).