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Movie review: ‘Supermensch’

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

* * * * 

Director: Beth Aala, Mike Myers

Cast: Shep Gordon, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas

Rated: R (strong language, nudity)

Running time: 85 min.

Posted 4:05pm on Thursday, Jun. 12, 2014

You don’t know Shep Gordon, but you know his clients.

The longtime manager of shock rocker Alice Cooper, as well as the brains behind the “celebrity chef” concept, Gordon has lived an incredible life, mixing with many of the music industry and Hollywood’s biggest names, all while remaining in the background.

Thanks to Mike Myers, who first met Gordon while making Wayne’s World in the early ’90s, the affable practitioner of what he calls “compassionate management” takes his turn in the spotlight in the breezy documentary Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.

From his fateful origins — a chance L.A. encounter with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix led to Cooper’s hiring Gordon as his manager — through to his years overseeing the careers of a variety of artists (Canadian pop vocalist Anne Murray raises the most eyebrows here) and helping chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Dallas’ own Dean Fearing achieve fame and fortune, Supermensch is packed with irresistible anecdotes and amusing re-creations (for example, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe is drafted to play Teddy Pendergrass at the height of his fame).

There’s a poignant undertow to the freewheeling, celebrity-packed tale — Gordon, twice married and divorced, aches for children of his own, leaving the impression he’d trade his glittering life on Maui in an instant for a chance to settle down and start a family — but Supermensch deftly weaves together the personal and professional to create a loving portrait of a man whose life seems like a never-ending party.

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