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21. Days We Danced: The Story of My
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22. Midnight at the Palace : My Life
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23. Richard Foreman (Paj Books: Art
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24. Scoundrel Time
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25. Musical Stages: An Autobiography
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26. The Queens of Burlesque: Vintage
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27. The World of Samuel Beckett 1906-1946
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28. The Sound of Their Music : The
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29. O'Neill: Life With Monte Cristo
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30. The Cambridge Companion to Ben
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31. Sondheim
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32. The Kindness of Strangers: The
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33. Bertolt Brecht's Berlin: A Scrapbook
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34. O'Neill: Son and Playwright
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35. Mielziner: Master of Modern Stage
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36. Ghost Light : A Memoir
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37. An Actor and His Time - Cloth
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38. Threads of Time: Recollections
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39. Judi Dench: With a Crack in Her
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40. Brecht and Company: Sex, Politics

21. Days We Danced: The Story of My Theatrical Family from Florenz Ziegfeld to Arthur Murray
by Doris Eaton Travis, JOSEPH EATON, Charles Eaton, J. R. Morris
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
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Asin: 0806199504
Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
Publisher: Marquand Books
Sales Rank: 92498
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

At age fourteen, Doris Eaton was the youngest performer in the Ziegfeld Follies, appearing with such legends as Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, Will Rogers, and Marilyn Miller. With two sisters and two brothers also appearing in the Follies in the years between 1918 and 1923, the Eatons became a well-known Broadway family.

Beginning their careers in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area, the "Seven Little Eatons" became seasoned performers, working the stock-company circuit before arriving in New York City and being caught up in the golden age of Broadway. Doris and her two sisters, Pearl and Mary, became popular dancers, and throughout the twenties they were never out of work. Doris was the first Eaton to go to Hollywood, and there in 1929 she introduced the song "Singing in the Rain" in the Hollywood Music Box Review. Later, Doris left show business and went on to great success building a chain of eighteen Arthur Murray studios in Michigan, which she owned and operated for thirty years.

In a refreshingly wise voice, The Days We Danced introduces readers to the successes and poignant sorrows of the Eaton family, including alcoholism, professional failures, early death, and even a tragic murder.

With memories that span almost a century, Doris recalls the state of the American theater during World War I, the "roaring twenties," the Great Depression--as well as the legendary names of the rich and famous celebrities with whom the Eatons worked and played. Accompanied by scores of unique period photographs, this memoir details the life of a woman who never stopped dancing--even when the curtain fell. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Life of Doris
I actually had the honor of interviewing Doris Eaton Travis last fall for my college English class... and I was definately honored when she gave me a copy of her book and autographed it for me... I read it right away and absolutely loved it! She is an amazing woman and has lead and incredible life which she tells about in her book. At age 99, she is still going strong and is as busy as ever! I loved meeting and interviewing her and definately loved this book! I recommend it to anyone and everyone!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Special Memoir
Doris Eaton Travis, at age 99, looks back at a full life, the early part of which is a valuable, firsthand portrait of early 20th Century entertainment, when vaudeville and the stage was still a central part of pop culture. Her frank appraisal of the rough road even successful performers would face as times changed is certainly an antidote to nostalgic ruminations about that long gone era! Highly recommended. ... Read more


22. Midnight at the Palace : My Life as a Fabulous Cockette
by Pam Tent
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.57
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Asin: 155583874X
Catlog: Book (2004-12-15)
Publisher: Alyson Publications
Sales Rank: 39885
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Book Description

David Weissman and Bill Weber's 2002 documentary, The Cockettes, wowed audiences at the Sundance Film Festival and shined a bright new light on the Cockettes. Now one of the founding members of the legendary troupe takes us inside this flamboyant ensemble of countercultural radicals, who decked themselves out in drag and glitter for a series of legendary midnight musicals at the Palace Theater in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco. Arriving in San Francisco in 1969 from suburban Detroit, Pam Tent met Hibiscus, a New York actor who had dropped out. One night, in burst of LSD-fueled spontaneity, Sweet Pam took to the stage in a cellophane hula skirt, when Hibiscus and a group of friends commandeered the stage of the Palace during The Nocturnal Dream Shows, a weekly midnight eclectic film series, to perform a chorus line dance to "Honky Tonk Woman." The Cockettes were born! Pam Tent's account recalls the heyday of the rebellious, gender-bending troupe, the inevitable infighting that accompanied fame, and finally how a Rex Reed column raving about the Cockettes led to a disastrous New York opening where the audience-which included John Lennon, Gore Vidal, Angela Lansbury and Anthony Perkins-walked out in droves. The Cockettes gave their last performance in the autumn of 1972. But despite their short life, the Cockettes' unique burst of cultural experimentation and artistic outrageousness continues to influence the worlds of theater, music, fashion, gay politics, gay spirituality, and urban club life.

After leaving the Cockettes, Pam Tent moved to New York City for a brief stint as a blues singer. Then it was back to the West Coast for a new career in film distribution and finally her current livelihood as an accountant. She still lives in the Bay Area, sharing her house with a small menagerie of animals.

... Read more

23. Richard Foreman (Paj Books: Art + Performance)
by Gerald Rabkin
list price: $23.95
our price: $23.95
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Asin: 0801861144
Catlog: Book (1999-07-01)
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Sales Rank: 905638
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24. Scoundrel Time
by Kathy Bates, Lillian Hellman
list price: $12.95
our price: $9.71
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Asin: 0316352942
Catlog: Book (2000-07-01)
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Sales Rank: 128413
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars a very personal view of a difficult time
Lillian Hellman was a decent person who was caught in a terrible cross wind and ruined. From a charmed life as a screenwriter, she fell to the bottom more quickly than she could have imagined possible. I found this to be the least successful of her series of memoires, in which she re-made herself and re-entered the spotlight as a good if not truly distingusihed writer. However, the topic is more focused than the other volumes, in particular focusing on the travials of her friend, Dashell Hammett. This is very moving. In fact, I found the best part of the book was the introduction by Garry WIlls, who is a truly first-rate political writer. His depiction of the time, made more vivid by his self-identification as a conservation, is chilling and comic at the same time - he recalls how Ayn RAND said that any film with Russians even smiling was propaganda and hence punishable by law!

Recommended, but there are better and far more comprehensive histories of the period.

5-0 out of 5 stars An artful yet compendious, vitriolic written declaration.
Desensitized for a long time to the stressful pain of the infamous McCarthy period, Scoundrel Time must have been a most cathartic memoir for Lillian Hellman to write; it is, of the autobiographical trilogy, the most unfeigned and succinct of the three books. Her voice resonates, echoes, and behind hers, the voices of other 'Red Scare' victims closely follow. This is not her book alone; it is a book belonging to a past, present and future generation of people who were, are, and regrettably will be, victims of slanderous tales and virulent gossip. Scoundrel Time searchingly delves into a dark time in our country when Freedom of Speech, Religion, Press, Assembly and Petitioning of government was on a gossamer threshold to nonexistence. This memoir was also clearly the most difficult one for Lillian Hellman to write, for as she herself says, "...I had a strange hangups and they are always hard to explain. Now I tell myself that if I can force them, maybe I can manage. The prevailing eccentricity was and is my inability to feel much against the leading figures of the period, the men who punished me. Senators McCarthy and McCarran, Representatives Nixon, Walter and Wood, all of them, were what they were: men who invented when necessary, maligned even when it wasn't necessary. I do not think they believed much, if anything, of what they said: the time was ripe for a new wave in America, and they seized their political chance to lead it along each day's opportunity, spit-balling whatever and with whoever came into view." (P.37) That 'new wave' hurt a lot of innocent people, human beings who were not spared the iniquitous rod of economic, career and social deprivation all because they, like Hellman, would not name names, who would not cede their code of conviction, honor and belief(s). The irony of this period is a true slap-in-the-face, for the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the most revered parchments of this country were verbally shaken into dust by those who wanted to shout and search out communistic evils where none existed in the first place. Like the Civil War of 1861 - the period of McCarthyism, name dropping, The House Un-American Activities, The Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, it turned brother against brother, friend into foe (Elia Kazan and Clifford Odets are perfect examples), rich people into poor. And in the end - the true tragedy is - nothing came out of the whole mess except a lot of miserable people who, by not subscribing to Truman's loyalty program or proposition of Americanism, sacrificed either their material luxury or worse, their character and integrity. Should a horrid 'craze' of this political and social nature (which really was a political subterfuge) ever arise in this land of republicism/democracy, I would subscribe to the very wise words of Lillian Hellman, "I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions." (P.30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for the Art of Memoir & McCarthy Era
Lillian Hellman was one of the most gifted memoirists in the history of the English language. (I am an published author, produced screenwriter, and creative writing teacher, thus these words do not come as hyperbole.) It is not merely the historical, racial, and personal content of her autobiographical works that elevates them to classics, but her unique, and dexterous command of language. The fact that she was a brilliant playwright has much to do with her gift. There is some question regarding the "truth" in her memoirs, as there should be in any memoir, for memory is fickle and cannot be trusted--as Hellman herself admitted. Read them as works of art, as explorations of the nature of memory, as historical documents. ... Read more


25. Musical Stages: An Autobiography
by Richard Rodgers, Mary Rodgers
list price: $18.50
our price: $12.58
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Asin: 0306811340
Catlog: Book (2002-04)
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Sales Rank: 432628
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A new edition to commemorate the legendary composer's 100th birthday.

From Oklahoma! to Carousel, The Sound of Music to The King and I, the sights and sounds of Broadway were dominated by Richard Rodgers for the better part of the twentieth century. And now, on the centenary of his birth, comes a new edition of his classic autobiography. "A memoir worthy of one of the great names in the American theater" (Washington Post), it's packed with backstage tales of everyone's favorite musicals. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars America's Finest Composer
(Note: Portions of this review have appeared in lesser detail elsewhere.) Simply stated, Richard Rodgers is America's finest composer. In our history, no other composer's music equals the consistent and prolonged quality, innovativeness, range, and sublime beauty of his compositions. Rodgers'exquisite, unforgettable melodies are crafted with such subtle ingenuity and sophistication that they never lose their freshness or their appeal.

Rodgers' musical genius was matched in two legendary partnerhips, the first with lyricist Lorenz Hart, and the second with librettist-lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. Rodgers' collaboration with these two gifted men elevated and transformed musical theater into a true and distinctive American art form.

There is a knee-jerk tendency by a few so-called musical "experts" to site Gershwin as the greatest American composer. But discerning authorities and audiences know better. The ENTIRE BODY of Richard Rodgers' work stands the test of time better than Gershwin's, or for that matter, better than the music of Berlin, Kern, Porter, and Arlen, all gifted composers.

Rodgers' music is universally admired and respected generation after generation among all kinds of audiences. Few, if any of his compositions sound dated which cannot be said for a significant portion of Gershwin and other composers' music.

Rodgers' music is written so brilliantly that it seems organic, as if nature itself had perfectly strung together a series of notes which sound no less than heavenly, and which seem as if they could not have been structured in any other way. In some of Gershwin's music, particularly "An American in Paris" and "Porgy and Bess", the music seems stilted, grandiose, even pretentious.

You never get that feeling with a Rodgers' composition. His music always has a quality of lightness, fluidity and sponteneity something missing in portions of Gershwin's music. Some of Gershwin's music feels leaden and redundant unlike Rodgers' works.

The breadth of Rodgers' range as a composer was limitless. And no other composer was better than Rodgers in translating character and plot into music. Here is a man who wrote scores perfectly suited to shows as diverse as "Oklahoma", "Pal Joey", "Carousel", "Sound of Music", "Cinderella", "King and I", "No Strings", etc. The list is impressive.

"Musical Stages" offers a detailed account of Rodgers' life and his incomparable career. In it, you will meet Rodgers' two most famous collaborators the undisciplined, gifted, and lovable Lorenz Hart, and the idealistic, eloquent, and reliable Oscar Hammerstein II. Rodgers also reveals behind the scenes stories about Mary Martin, Yul Brynner, Gertrude Lawrence, Julie Andrews, and other luminaries of the musical theater.

This autobiography should be required reading for fans of musical theater and popular music.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American Genius
Please read my review preceding this one too. Today is November 4, 2001, and the Emmy Awards have just been telecast on CBS. To close the show, the magnificent Barbra Streisand sang a tribute to the unfailing courage and spirit of the American people whose lives have been inalterably changed by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Of all the great American songs which could have been chosen to comfort and hearten the American people, the one Streisand sang was "You'll Never Walk Alone" composed by the incomparable Richard Rodgers from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Carousel". The poetic, inspirational lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II are superbly matched by the sheer eloquence, beauty and emotional power of this soaring ballad. "You'll Never Walk Alone" is one of those songs that once heard, can never ever be forgotten.

Coincidentally, airing opposite the Emmy awards tonight was the PBS special "American Masters, Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest of Sounds" a documentary on the music and career of Richard Rodgers.

In a way, tonight's televised events were a double tribute to a man who was an American genius. He was in my opinion the greatest composer of popular music ever. I venture to say that his entire body of work stands the test of time better than the music of any other great American composer including Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, or Kern, etc.

I don't think that any of these other supremely gifted American composers could have demonstrated the prolonged and consistent brilliance and unbelievable range that Rodgers had. Here is a man who wrote songs as varied and memorable as "Manhattan", "If I Loved You", "Lady is a Tramp", "Edleweiss", "My Romance", "Mountain Greenary", "Mimi", "Hello Young Lovers", "Oklahoma" which incidentally is now the official anthem of the state of "Oklahoma", "My Funny Valentine", "Shall We Dance", "Bewitched", etc., etc.

It seems impossible that one man is reponsible for so many different styles and such a consistently high level of artistry and ingenuity over many decades. And yet Rodgers was.

Rodgers has touched and illuminated audiences generation after generation. He has given people music which is infinitely accessible, yet sublimely crafted. Simply stated, no other composer can equal Rodgers' accomplishments and the impact of his musical legacy.

5-0 out of 5 stars STILL THE GREATEST AMERICAN COMPOSER
I reviewed that book a few years ago,but i feel i could give a better review of it now.Let me be objective here by saying that RICHARD RODGERS was the best AMERICAN composer of the previous century.This book of memoirs gives you a real insight of the music business at the time of mister RODGERS.The anecdotes are very accurate;they show the good and the bad aspects of the music business.RICHARD RODGERS learned early in his career that you are always as good as your last success,and that producers are the kings of BROADWAY.The best example of this is that even with all the hits he had,RICHARD RODGERS never could give ALLEGRO a second chance on BROADWAY.A show that failed is almost never revived again.The man has a lot to say about creativity;the way one must always stand tall even in adversity.One of the most moving passage of the book is the retreat of LORENZ HART and his death at the age of 47.RODGERS certainly knew the value of a partnership.That he could work with both HART and HAMMERSTEIN demonstrates how good he was.Nobody in the history of AMERICAN music has done it better.Out of the 40 shows that he created,10 have become classics of the repertoire.That's quite a feat.If RODGERS was the best,it's simply because he was the most passionnate and the most talented;a perfect combinaison.In my book,there will never be enough revivals of his shows.Buy this,you'll become a fan too,this is guarantee for a lifetime of musical pleasures.

5-0 out of 5 stars Rodgers is the greatest
There are a handful of composers of American popular music whose body of work is revered generation after generation. Kern, Arlen, Gershwin, and Loewe come to mind. But at the top of the list is Richard Rodgers.

In my opinion, Rodgers is the greatest songwriter in the history of Broadway and popular music. His range was simply astonishing. He could write jubilant, folksy music as in "Oklahoma" or jazzy sophisticated tunes as found in "Pal Joey". He could create soaringly romantic melodies such as those in "The King and I" or inspirational and spiritual ballads as presented in "Carousel". Many of his songs have become popular standards as well.

Rodgers adapted brilliantly to a variety of subject matter. And the longevity of his illustrious career is enviable. "Musical Stages" not only chronicles Rodgers' life and work, but it is also an overview of the development and maturation of American musical theater to which Rodgers contributed mightily.

In this autobiography, you will get to know some of the true giants of American popular music in particular Rodgers' two lyricists: the impish, undisciplined, yet lovable genius Lorenz Hart and the wise and idealistic Oscar Hammerstein II. Both of these men wrote many of the best lyrics ever composed for Broadway or popular music.

You'll also meet acting luminaries such as Yul Brynner, Gertrude Lawrence, and Mary Martin among others. "Musical Stages" is a rich addition to any theater and popular music buff's library. Read it with delight!

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE FOR ALL RODGERS FANS EVERYWHERE
Since RICHARD RODGERS is my favourite AMERICAN composer ,i could have killed to have that book, and i was not disapointed.One of those few autobiographies that are completely honest.You learn about his family upbringing, his complex relation with LARRY HART,the way he and OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN worked together ,and the way both were affected by the failure of ALLEGRO.You also discover that most movie producers didn't really care about music ,and that RICHARD was glad to go back to BROADWAYin 1935.It is also interesting to read the introduction of his daughter MARY, saying that she likes what other people likes about him:his music, but she also adds of course i loved him.RICHARD RODGERS was probably a very private person, who was in a way forced to live a public life because of his profession. ... Read more


26. The Queens of Burlesque: Vintage Photographs of the 1940s and 1950s (Schiffer Pictorial Essay)
by Len Rothe
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 0764304496
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing
Sales Rank: 506350
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For the first time, stunning images of the women of the burlesque stage are gathered together in one great volume. In period photographs the timeless beauty of those exotic women who titillated, teased, and sometimes tortured their audiences is captured and celebrated. These memorable images make it clear that, when it comes to a beautiful body and a gorgeous face, tastes change very little. And just as in the past, the imagination is encouraged to run wild and ponder what might have been. This is a book to relax with and enjoy over and over again. Its rich, nostalgic view of a bygone era in American entertainment will please everyone, men and women alike. A "revealing" piece of Americana! ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars June Cleaver they ain't
Mr.Rothe has lovingly put together the photographs of burlesque stars and forgotten performers that would have appeared in publicity packages, coming attractions posters,lobby cards, and advertisments fifty years ago. Not all of the women are conventionally beautiful, and their costumes would be considered less than risque by current standards. These are women that time and mainstream history have ignored.The exsistence of their images is important: for feminists, for people interested in the history of costume, for modern consumers of sex work, for those that think of Doris Day as being the penultimate 1950's woman. Enjoy this piece of work and contemplate where these lovely ladies are now... ... Read more


27. The World of Samuel Beckett 1906-1946
by Lois Gordon
list price: $19.00
our price: $19.00
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Asin: 0300074956
Catlog: Book (1998-03-01)
Publisher: Yale University Press
Sales Rank: 1309048
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Book Description

Samuel Beckett has long been identified with the debilitated and impotent characters he created. In this provocative book, Lois Gordon offers a new perspective on Beckett, challenging the prevalent image of him as reclusive, self-absorbed, and disturbed. Gordon investigates the first forty years of Beckett`s life and finds that he was, on the contrary, a kind and generous man who responded sensitively and even heroically to the world around him. ... Read more


28. The Sound of Their Music : The Story of Rodgers and Hammerstein Revised and Updated
by Frederick Nolan
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 1557834733
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Applause Books
Sales Rank: 456631
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The greatest partnership in the history of the musical, captured in print, wonderfully illustrated. For this new edition, the book has been completely rewritten and substantially expanded to include material on Rodgers' early career with Lorenz Hart as well as his later work, and also features recollections from such theatrical titans as Sheldon Harnick, Martin Charnin, Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. Also, a completely new appendix reveals the details of the continuing worldwide phenomenon of Rodgers and Hammerstein's work up to and including the 2002 centennial year for Rodgers. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating, charming double bio
Frederick Nolan tells the story of Rodgers and Hammerstein both as a team and as separate people. Indeed there is a good deal of space allotted to their careers BEFORE they ever worked together. But after they team up the narrative becomes more lively and a real page turner, at least partly because Nolan's style is graceful and charming in itself. He seems to have read everything written about them, even going so far as to watch TV kinescopes of them from the 1950s, and he talked to many people who knew them, worked with them.

It's the backstage stories that make the book sing. Practically every page has a at least one fascinating anecdote. And he doesn't sugar-coat their personalities--Rodgers's curtness, even cruelty, and Hammerstein's insecurity, tendency to swallow his pride.

It's hard to read the book without singing to yourself. My God, what songs these two wrote! But more than that, what dramatists they were; they broke convention again and again and mostly successfully.

Pull out your recordings of Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific and start reading! ... Read more


29. O'Neill: Life With Monte Cristo
by Arthur Gelb, Barbara Gelb
list price: $24.95
our price: $16.47
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Asin: 0399149120
Catlog: Book (2002-04-01)
Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Book Publishers
Sales Rank: 355828
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Never before in the annals of American letters have biographers returned to their subject with the aim of radically rethinking and retelling their story form beginning to end.

Arthur and Barbara Gelb's O'Neill: Life with Monte Cristo is the first volume of the completely rewritten biography of America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright. The Gelbs originally published the first full-scale life of the dramatist in 1962, nine years after his death. In the intervening thirty-eight years, they have conducted extensive interviews and have unearthed masses of hitherto unknown or withheld material-letters, diaries, scenarios-from which they have fashioned this supremely definitive life of O'Neill.

The Gelbs take O'Neill from his lonely childhood through his seafaring, adventure-filled, and often self-destructive youth. This new research and perspective probes O'Neill's psychological torment over his mother's rejection and his father's benevolent tyranny, his suicide attempt, his struggle with alcoholism, and his tumultuous love affairs. This first volume follows O'Neill to his first triumph on Broadway with Beyond the Horizon that set him on the path toward the ultimate brilliant achievements of The Iceman Cometh, A Moon for the Misbegotten, and what is universally regarded as America's greatest play, Long Day's Journey into Night.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible biography
This revised version of the Gelb's famous biography from the sixties is an incredible read. It traces the life of O'Neill from his early beginnings to his first Broadway play, Beyond the Horizon. One gets an in-depth view of his life with his parents and brother. Monte Cristo provides the modern reader with an enriched biographical background that really elucidates aspects of O'Neill's masterwork, Long Day's Journey Into Night. This biography is clearly written, thoughtful, provocative, and interesting. It's definitely one of the great literary biographies of an American writer. ... Read more


30. The Cambridge Companion to Ben Jonson (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
list price: $23.99
our price: $23.99
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Asin: 0521646782
Catlog: Book (2000-11-16)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 315061
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Book Description

Ben Jonson is, in many ways, the figure of greatest centrality to literary study of the Elizabethan and Jacobean period. He wrote in virtually every literary genre: in drama, comedy, tragedy and masque; in poetry, epigram, and lyric; in prose, literary criticism and English grammar. This Companion brings together leading scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to provide an accessible, up-to-date introduction to Jonson's life and works. It represents an invaluable guide to current critical perspectives, providing generous coverage not only of his plays but also his non dramatic works. ... Read more


31. Sondheim
by Martin Gottfried
list price: $45.00
our price: $41.85
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Asin: 0810941791
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: Harry N Abrams
Sales Rank: 434965
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

First published in 1993, Sondheim reveals an extraordinary portrait of the most celebrated Broadway composer of our time-the man who gave us A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, and other acclaimed musicals.

Revised and reissued to coincide with the April 2000 Broadway premiere of Sondheim's latest musical, Wise Guys, starring Nathan Lane, this richly illustrated biography now covers all of the composer's work since 1990, including Passion, Putting It All Together, and, of course, Wise Guys.

Drawing on lengthy conversations with Sondheim, including new interviews for this updated edition, critic Martin Gottfried takes readers through the composer's career production by production, analyzing the music and lyrics and revealing intimate details of how Sondheim creates his theater magic. A wealth of photographs bring Sondheim's shows to life.

112 illustrations, 60 in full color, 9 x 11"

MARTIN GOTTFRIED, a veteran theater and music critic, is the author of many books, including Abrams' Broadway Musicals and More Broadway Musicals, as well as biographies of Bob Fosse, George Burns, and Angela Lansbury.

MARTHA SWOPE was Broadway's preeminent photographer until her recent retirement. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Gottfried's "Sondheim" earns my applause, but no ovation.
Quite a book, but not truly a definitive ''in depth" analysis of Mr. Sondheim's shows. Mr. Gottfried brings up many interesting points about Sondheim's shows, but doesn't really, fully completely explore each show, as I was expecting.

His "Sweeney Todd" analysis is basically just a long plot summary, with lyrical highlights from a few songs. I was most disappointed by the way Mr. Gottfried barely broke the surface in his analysis of "Assassins". However, there are many wonderful reviews, interviews, commentaries, and photographs. Perhaps my favorite is a portrait of Mr. Sondheim surrounded by his "Sunday in the Park with George" set

4-0 out of 5 stars Glossy analysis of Stephen Sondheim's career
An authorized look at Sondheim's Broadway career, with numerous glossy photos and interesting commentary from Gottfried, a no-nonsense critic. Gottfried's analysis of Sondheim's works is interesting, but doesn't go enough in-depth into Sondheim's personal life. Still, it's worth it ... Read more


32. The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams
by Donald Spoto
list price: $18.50
our price: $12.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306808056
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Sales Rank: 208661
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Broken World of Tennessee Williams
The last words of the book, "at last there was stillness," exemplify Spoto's ability to capture the chaos of this genius's life. Although the book is somewhat fast paced and races over portions of Williamss life, it is meticulously researched and digs up every facet of Tennessee Williams. Spoto reveals the glory days of the pulitzer prize winning playwright and the nightmare of his last two decades in which he watched success wane as fastidious critics, ignorantly demanding that Williams continue to deliver plays in the vein of Glass Menagerie and Streetcar Named desire, beat him literally to death. One must have emotions of steel to get through the book's later chapters, in which Williams suffers a miserable descent into drug addiction and madness. Despite Williams's wealth and fame, the man lived a terribly difficult life. From his chaotic childhood to his drugged, alcoholic and lonely end, Williams's life was perhaps his greatest drama, as Spoto reveals.

4-0 out of 5 stars A thorough life tour of "10," but with a sour thesis.
Yes, Tennesee Williams signed some of his letters as "10." That's just one of the many things you'll learn from reading Spoto's 1985 biography of this famous American playwright. More complete, thorough and sympathetic biographies have been issued since this one, but Spoto's is still worth reading. It has the virtue of concision (it runs about 400 pages, which for a crowded life like Williams had isn't long), at least. I don't argue with Spoto's view that Williams lived a largely miserable life, sank into rampant substance abuse, and hurt most of the people who cared for him. By the time he died, he couldn't get a good review for any new play he wrote. No one in the theater world liked him. It took his death for his career to start to recover, but at this point the late plays are getting better-reviewed productions, and the scope of his entire achievement (including his work in fiction and poetry) is finally being assimilated. From this distance, the only American playwright of the 20th century who might be put into the same class is O'Neill. I would vote for Williams. Anyone who reads this book will have to be willing to take Spoto's unsympathetic reading of Williams's life. At times he lectures the dead subject of the book like a prim schoolmarm (he did the same in his Hitchcock biography). The book is still a gripping portrait of one of the greatest, and saddest, literary giants America has produced. I believe the tragedy of his genius rivals Poe's. ... Read more


33. Bertolt Brecht's Berlin: A Scrapbook of the Twenties
by Wolf Von Eckardt, Sander L. Gilman
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
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Asin: 0803296126
Catlog: Book (1993-11-01)
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Sales Rank: 900956
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars After the wall fell
It is a scrapbook. Berlin dreams included many things, art, architecture, theater, sport. In the 1950's the city's dividedness became an occasion for more riches of artistic expression.

Brecht died in 1956. His daughter took over his company--the Ensemble-- and the right to produce his plays. The Berlin of the 1920's became frozen in time. After reunification the question arose as to whether the Berlin Ensemble should be preserved.

Friedrich Ebert was the first President of the Weimar Republic. German inflation, 1919-1923, was more demoralizing than the defeat of armies. Berlin is surrounded by beautiful lakes and woods but most of the inhabitants stayed within the city's confines which produced a multitude of employment opportunities and leisure pursuits. There was also the issue of a lack of low cost housing which some of the architects and planners sought to overcome.

Berlin night life defied description. There was political cabaret. There were night clubs one does not talk about. Criminal gangs were camouflaged as social clubs. Franz Werfel, Stefan Zweig, Erich Maria Remarque, and Stefan George were active. Kathe Kollwitz and Georg Grosz were inevitably involved in showing the ugliness of life in the city. Other artists included Otto Dix, Ernst Barlach, Paul Klee, Max Beckmann, Otto Muller, Lyonel Feininger, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. The Bauhaus group influenced the avant garde.

The first public psychoanalytic institute was established in Berlin in 1921. The Berlin theater attracted the best talent. German film makers used Espressionism. Another genre of film was the mountain film. The music scene included Wilhelm Furtwangler, Arnold Schonberg, Paul Hindemith, Otto Klemperer, Erich Kleiber, Arthur Schnabel, and Kurt Weill. The Wandervogel movement was apolitical. Notes and index are provided. ... Read more


34. O'Neill: Son and Playwright
by Louis Sheaffer, Louis Scheaffer
list price: $22.95
our price: $16.07
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Asin: 0815412436
Catlog: Book (2002-09-01)
Publisher: Cooper Square Publishers
Sales Rank: 206551
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Sheaffer's two-volume biography of American platwright Eugene O'Neill-the second volume of which won a Pulitzer Prize-makes use of previously unknown documents and numerous interviews to present an insightful look at O'Neill's troubled life. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An Epic Biography
Though Louis Scheaffer's study of America's greatest playwright, Eugene O'Neill, is, at over 480 pages of actual text, overzealous in its details, it becomes engrossing by the last several chapters, drawing O'Neill's childhood into his writings. Scheaffer links nearly every character, setting, and event featured in O'Neill's plays to one or another incident in his youth. This ties O'Neill to his writings, making his body of work seem more significant and his drama more powerful. The companion to "O'Neill: Son and Artist," this book should be read by anyone with an interest in the history of American Theater or Literature. ... Read more


35. Mielziner: Master of Modern Stage Design
by Mary C. Henderson, Frank Rich
list price: $45.00
our price: $28.35
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0823088235
Catlog: Book (2001-02-15)
Publisher: Watson-Guptill Pubns
Sales Rank: 194957
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The greatest American stage designer of the twentieth century is celebrated in the first fully documented book on his prolific, five-decade-plus career, spanning 260 plays, musicals, ballets, operas, and motion pictures.

In creating his now-famous designs for the original Broadway productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Carousel, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, and scores of other shows, Jo Mielziner (pronounced Mel-ZEE-ner) brought to full maturity the bold stage-design concepts of the modern era and influenced succeeding generations of stage designers. This definitive book covers his entire career and treats readers to many evocative sketches and fully rendered designs that have never been published before. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive but not critical
Mary Henderson has done a great job of cataloging Mielziner's life and work, but in the end that's all she has done. The book lacks a critical bite, at times seeming a little too biased towards its subject. Mielziner comes off as having flawless work, with any bad results being caused by narrow-minded or misguided collaborators.
The book also disappoints in that while it has many renderings, it lacks any ground plans, or sections, or other working drawings. It's very difficult to get a true sense of someone's design without seeing a ground plan. Perhaps they are not available, or maybe they didn't seem pretty enough to include.
To be fair, Henderson has done a great service to the theater community in writing this book, and while she doesn't give herself freedom to do close readings of Mielziner's designs, the comprehensiveness of her work does have its own value. It's too bad - in the end she has successfully argued her case of Mielziner as a seminal figure in theatrical design, but she doesn't follow through and give his work the critical assessment deserving of a true master artist.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have
This glorious book is not only visually stunning, but thoroughly researched and extremely well written. The author offers not only a true portrait of the artist and the man, but also a comprehensive look at American theater and scene design in the 20th Century. Amazingly, it is also a good read. Any potential subject of a biography can only wish for a book this good. For anyone interested in the theater, this book is truly a must-have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jo Mielziner - a forgotten genius
Mary Henderson has given us an invaluable insight in the world of Jo Mielziner. So often the names of creative people who ensure that a production "works" are never known or easily forgotten by the viewing audience. The set and lighting designs of Mielziner for plays and shows like A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, South Pacific, etc. were considered brilliant and groundbreaking by the theatre world of his time. Mielziner also greatly influenced modern stage design (the East Room stage in the White House and the Denver Center Theatre, for example) and with his art and creative insight put his unique stamp on the world of modern theatre until this day. An overview of his work was long overdue. But Mary Henderson has given us far more than that. She has given us Jo Mielziner, the person, by providing fascination facts and photographs of Jo's private life. The many colorful prints of his designs and the enjoyable flow of the text make this book a "must have" and a wonderful gift for anyone interested in the history of 20th century theatre.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must, must, must have!!!
Wow!!! Ms. Henderson has written an amazing book. Not only does it have the most beautiful color reproductions of Mielziner's work I've ever seen and in profusion, but she has also written a rich and detailed biography of Jo Mielziner.

I had been waiting for this book, but it exceeded all expectations. It is a invaluable history of modern American Stage Design, covering all the important personalities in fascinating detail, tracing the artistic progression and growth of American theater.

Anyone with an interest in American Theater in the 20th Century will benefit and be informed by this book. Her breadth of knowledge is astonishing and her digressions into side alleys are always informative and fascinating. She uses facts and figures to illuminate the shifting perspectives of the "business" of Broadway. And her analysis of design trends are intelligent and enlightening. (I would only quibble with her overly positive view of Mielziner's Architectural consulting.)

As a picture book it's great! As a biography it is marvelous! As a history of 20th Century Broadway Theater it is a must have. ... Read more


36. Ghost Light : A Memoir
by FRANK RICH
list price: $13.95
our price: $10.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375758240
Catlog: Book (2001-10-09)
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Sales Rank: 221285
Average Customer Review: 3.86 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

There is a superstition that if an emptied theater is ever left completely dark, a ghost will take up residence. To prevent this, a single "ghost light" is left burning at center stage after the audience and all of the actors and musicians have gone home. Frank Rich's eloquent and moving boyhood memoir reveals how theater itself became a ghost light and a beacon of security for a child finding his way in a tumultuous world.

Rich grew up in the small-townish Washington, D.C., of the 1950s and early '60s, a place where conformity seemed the key to happiness for a young boy who always felt different. When Rich was seven years old, his parents separated--at a time when divorce was still tantamount to scandal--and thereafter he and his younger sister were labeled "children from a broken home." Bouncing from school to school and increasingly lonely, Rich became terrified of the dark and the uncertainty of his future. But there was one thing in his life that made him sublimely happy: the Broadway theater.

Rich's parents were avid theatergoers, and in happier times they would listen to the brand-new recordings of South Pacific, Damn Yankees, and The Pajama Game over and over in their living room. When his mother's remarriage brought about turbulent changes, Rich took refuge in these same records, re-creating the shows in his imagination, scene by scene. He started collecting Playbills, studied fanatically the theater listings in The New York Times and Variety, and cut out ads to create his own miniature marquees. He never imagined that one day he would be the Times's chief theater critic.

Eventually Rich found a second home at Wash-ington's National Theatre, where as a teenager he was a ticket-taker and was introduced not only to the backstage magic he had dreamed of for so long but to a real-life cast of charismatic and eccentric players who would become his mentors and friends. With humor and eloquence, Rich tells the triumphant story of how the aspirations of a stagestruck young boy became a lifeline, propelling him toward the itinerant family of theater, whose romantic denizens welcomed him into the colorful fringes of Broadway during its last glamorous era.

Every once in a while, a grand spectacle comes along that introduces its audiences to characters and scenes that will resound in their memories long after the curtain has gone down. Ghost Light, Frank Rich's beautifully crafted childhood memoir, is just such an event.
... Read more

Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ghost Light Shimmers!
Fifty years ago, legendary playwright and director Moss Hart published an authobiography entitled Act One that instantly became a classic and held its place among the greatest theatrical memoirs ever written. This month, former New York Times Chief Drama Critic Frank Rich published his own story, full of passion, literacy, and wonder, that at once pays homage to Act One and transcends it. Rich has crafted the definitive stagestruck story, and there is no more significant book on growing up in the theatre. Rich's boyhood becomes a spellbinding play, a story that is joyous, crushing, funny, moving, and indelible. Anyone who cares for the American theatre, who has ever been shaken by the pulse of an orchestra begining an overture, who can find in himself even a glimmer of the passion bursting from Rich on every page, must read this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the memories
Frank Rich's memoir "Ghost Light" is a painful reenactment of a lonely childhood. His parents divorced and he found solace in the wonderful world of the theatre. His stepfather shared his passion for this although he was abusive and difficult to live with. Personally, it was painful for me to read but I understood so much about my own childhood. Like Mr. Rich I found comfort in the wonderful world of cast albums, dreaming of seeing a Broadway show,keeping a vast collection of programs, etc. Mr. Rich proved to me that there were other kids like me and he had the guts to write about it. My one criticism of the book is that it tends to plod in places. Particularly in the beginning. He describes his bucolic childhood before his parents divorced with a little too much detail. Mr. Rich I salute you. Thanks for the memories

3-0 out of 5 stars yawn.
I used to live in Washington, DC so this book held some intrigue for me. But because I did not grow up in the 1950s, but rather in a time when divorced parents could be found anywhere, I was not that into this memoir about a boy from a broken home who loved the theater. Perhaps that's because I just finished a really great memoir (The War At Home by Nora Eisenberg) about something similar where the girl and boy have to help each other survive because the parents were so violent .... this seemed like the watered-down version of that. I know it's a memoir, so I don't like critiquing it, but I found it to be just boring and could not get through it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A poignant memoir
Frank Rich's boyhood story was touching, and I found I couldn't put it down! He gave a very good account of how the theatre saved him from a very loney and confusing childhood. I was fascinated with the parallels he saw in his own life and the characters in the plays he enjoyed so much. The story is told through the eyes of a child. Mr. Rich does an excellent job of providing details of life in Washington during the late 60's and the people he met along the way, and the influence they had in his life, good or bad. I look forward to his next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly engrossing memoir
I heard this book on audio tape in my car and found myself longing to go to work or do an errand so that I could get to the next chapter of Frank Rich's fabulous memoir.He remembered so many details of his life and presented them in such a candid way, that he endeared himelf to me. We listen to his feelings intenetly because he doesn't hide a thing. His joys and fears are all there and we experience them with him. I felt like I really got to watch him grow up, and I could feel his passion for the theatre grow along the way. I greatly identified with Mr. Rich because I also came from a divorced family with a very difficult stepfather. My only regret with this book is that it ended! I can't wait for the sequel. ... Read more


37. An Actor and His Time - Cloth
by John Gielgud
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1557832994
Catlog: Book (1997-10-01)
Publisher: Applause Books
Sales Rank: 1211188
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Book Description

John Gielgud tells the story of his life in the theatre, from the time of the great actor/managers like Tree and du Maurier and star actresses like Sarah Bernhardt and his own great aunt Ellen Terry, to his famous partnerships with Laurence Olivier and Ralph Richardson. ... Read more


38. Threads of Time: Recollections
by Peter Brook
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1582430187
Catlog: Book (1999-06-01)
Publisher: Counterpoint Press
Sales Rank: 266668
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The man described by the New York Times as "the English-speaking world's most eminent director" charts the aesthetic and spiritual journeys of his own remarkable career

In graceful and vivid scenes, Threads of Time chronicles the evolution of an extraordinary artistic intelligence, a man whose interests range worldwide from film and theater to myth and the inner life. Brook reveals the myriad sources driving his lifelong passion for finding the most expressive way to tell a story. Over the years we watch his metamorphosis from traditionalist to radical innovator, witnessing his expanding field of vision and sense of dramatic possibility. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is perhaps his best and most revealing work
Mr. Brooks latest work is also his most personal. Not in the sense of the typical autobiography, which usually highlights the tawdry detials, but in a truly inner sense. His journey through both theatre and his inner world is illuminating, to both artists and non-artists alike. I was particularly facinated to read of Mr. Brooks experiences with the Gurdjieff work. His depth of insight into the importance of inner work in tandem with his insights into theatre and film provide great reading, for those familiar and unfamiliar with his work. I highly recomend this book, as well as his other works. ... Read more


39. Judi Dench: With a Crack in Her Voice
by John Miller
list price: $15.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 156649219X
Catlog: Book (2001-10-15)
Publisher: Welcome Rain Publishers
Sales Rank: 192151
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Look into the life of a true actor
I'm an immense Judi Dench fan and waited for the publication of this paperback version of her biography. I wasn't disappointed. The author gives a complete picture of 'the Dame's' professional life--from her first stage parts up until her more widely known successes in the last couple of years.
Reading the book made me want to know this smart, funny woman who has now added 'M' (Bond movies) to her coverage of classical stage roles, television pieces and other movie parts. I came away with a somewhat better understanding of the enormous talent it must take to get to the heart of various characters. And, I greatly enjoyed the descriptions of the practical jokes JD loves to organize. I loved the 'corpsing' (the Brits use the term to describe actors 'cracking each other up').
Great reading for a 'Dame Judi' fan, or any fan of good acting, with an 'inside' view of the process.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dame Judi Dench
This biography is a rarity. Its purpose is to share the tremendous career and achievements of Mrs. Judi Dench, and it happily is lacking what biography has often become. It is not several hundred pages of dubious gossip or borderline slander. It is not a litany of innuendo from those who claim some dubious relationship to the subject and then do their best to damage the individual's reputation. If you are looking for gossip-strewn trash, buy history as revised and fictionalized by Kitty Kelly. Mr. John Miller has written a wonderful book about a woman of substance and of great personal and professional merit. Unlike other biographers who survive based upon how low they will sink for tabloid attention, he did not write whatever someone would spew to relate a story that was not there.

Dame Judi's career has spanned a period that has allowed her to work with many of the greatest names of the theatre of the 20th Century. Additionally the actresses, the Directors and Playwrights also read like a list of those most accomplished in their fields. Many fans first met her as "M" in the James Bond Film Series, or as "Mrs. Brown", in her portrayal of Queen Victoria, or Queen Elizabeth in "Shakespeare In Love". The latter two films won her nominations for The Academy Award and the trend continued this year in Chocolat.

If you are interested in a story of a hard working actress, a woman who is a consummate professional, and respected by virtually all who have worked with her, this book is for you. However if you are like the journalist that opened a press conference by asking her a personal and intimate question, which caused her to rightfully dismiss the press conference format of dirt gathering from that day on, you will have to look elsewhere.

This is a great book about a woman who has succeeded in all areas she chose, and has done so with style and without the sordid notoriety that passes for fame today. Hers' is not a career of 15 minutes or 15, 30, or 45 years, but more like another legend Sir John Gielgud, who when he hit his 90th birthday never thought to pause.

Mr. Miller is to be commended for writing a worthwhile book and not a hardbound tabloid. If he seems less than objective due to the praise he has collected from her peers, it in fact only does "seem" that way. There are accomplished people today who can be admired and pointed to as role models. This book documents one. The other group tends to be long on press clippings and short on substance, but they also unfortunately sell books by the ton to book reading voyeurs.

Mr. Miller has written a work for the other readers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating view of the British Theater and one of its Best!
I became interested in Judy Dench when I first discovered the British comedies that appear on American Television. "As Time Goes By" is my favorite and of course stars Judi. When I heard about her most exceptional career I wanted to learn more about her and see more of her acting. I found this book, which does give an "arm's length" view of Judi, the person, which I understand is her choice, and more power to her. However, I was fascinated with the in-depth information on the British Theater and those who have performed there over the last 40 years as told in this biography. It certainly describes many of the wonderful theatrical productions, and all that goes into making these possible. While Judi Dench is the central character, the book shows what a career in theater is like and all the many aspects of theater that go into every presentation. I did enjoy the book, and felt I had learned far more than anticipated about the recent British Theater.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good bedtime reading....
Well, I've finally finished WITH A CRACK IN HER VOICE and I am certain this the most boring biography I've ever read...and I've read hundreds of biographies and autobiographies. The first part of the book is so boring I almost tossed it in the wastebasket a dozen times (and I bought a hardcover!!).

If I can believe what John Miller writes, Judi Dench never had a date until she met her husband Michael Williams in her mid-thirties. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. Miller's writing seems to have improved a bit after Judi marries Michael Williams, but I say "seems" only because the first half of the book was so dry and dull. Maybe Judi herself keeps everything under wraps?

After reading this book, I can understand why a frustrated reporter once asked Judi "When is the first time you had sex and with whom." I imagine the reporter was desparate. The result of this incident according to Miller has been that Judi Dench no longer does press conferences. Unlike her character Jean Hardcastle, the Judi Dench of this book is flat and sexless.

Judi Dench is one of my favorite actresses. I've followed her career since I first discovered her in ROOM WITH A VIEW in which she co-acted with Maggie Smith another favorite. I'm an Anglophile and I love British Theatre and Shakespeare. I've seen most of the plays she has performed in at one time or another (other actors, but I have seen many RSC productions). I've seen all the episodes of her two tv shows and most of her movies (not a James Bond fan). I own VHS tapes and DVDs movies of her work. I LOVE JUDI. I bought this book because I thought I would learn more about the "real" Judi and her husband Michael. Forget it. Michael is barely mentioned. Jeffrey Palmer gets more coverage.

WITH A CRACK IN HER VOICE is really a synopsis of Judi's work over the last half century. If you love the theatre and want a glimpse of the creativity and toil that goes into a stage production, you'll get a little glimpse of it in this book. If you are not familiar with the older British actors who have worked with the RSC over the past few decades you may not recognize many people. If you recognize Elisabeth Garvie then you will probably enjoy the sections of the book that discuss casting and performances. If you want a list of the plays, movies, and tv shows Judi has appeared in over the past 50 years, you'll obtain the equivalent of an annotated bibliography in this book. If you want to know more about the real flesh and blood Judi Dench, you will have to wait.

One anectdote led me to believe this could have been a different book. John Miller writes of Judi's experience while performing in Hamlet in the 1980s. One night Daniel Day Lewis, who was playing Hamlet, fell to pieces. His own father had died recently just as Hamlet's father has died before the play opens. After Day Lewis finished the ghost scene, a fellow actor found him collapsed in the hallway in tears and he gathered him in his arms and comforted him. In this one little shared memory, Miller reveals Judi is capable of recognizing real human pathos and not just play acting the stage version.

4-0 out of 5 stars dench fans will love the book
if you are a dench fan you will love the book. it is packed with information. the only drawback for some may be the style in which it is written. the author seems to have approached it more like a research paper rather than a book. but this does mean there is much material... and a good read if you're not looking for the slick, overly editing books we have become used to. ... Read more


40. Brecht and Company: Sex, Politics and the Making of the Modern Drama (Great Grove Lives)
by John Fuegi
list price: $20.00
our price: $14.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0802139108
Catlog: Book (2002-08-01)
Publisher: Grove Press
Sales Rank: 846633
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The result of twenty-five years of research on three continents, Brecht and Company is a revolutionary portrait of one of the world's greatest theater artists -- and the people upon whom he built his reputation. A noted Brecht scholar, John Fuegi traces the evolution of Brecht's parasitic relationships and aggressive ambition through close analysis of diaries, letters, and drafts of the literary works, revealing a man who was personally dazzling, a genius at assembling and directing the plays created in his workshop, but ultimately lacking in literary stamina, for which he depended on his lovers. A landmark study about the life and times of one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century theater, Brecht and Co. will forever change our understanding of Brecht and his oeuvre. "[An] enormous, fascinating biography." -- The New Yorker "One of the most important critical studies of the century." -- New York Magazine ... Read more

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars True Brecht Scholars Agree -- This is Garbage
John Fuegi is no student of Brecht's career. Real scholars do not mistranslate material and improvise their own meanings. They do not embellish and even invent quotes. Fuegi has done all this and more. To say he is "inaccurate" is putting it mildly. In fact, German Brecht scholars were so outraged by this trash, they collectively authored an article listing every error -- and there was enough misinformation to fill 80 pages. An example: Their careful study of Brecht's manuscripts reveals that first drafts were in his own hand. They are not the work of his mistresses. If you want to know the truth about Bertolt Brecht's life and career, skip this nonsense and consult any work of author James Lyons, a true Brecht scholar.

4-0 out of 5 stars Giving Brecht his due
Brecht's achievements and influences as a pioneering modernist dramatist are inarguable. What needed to be added to the record was that the man was something of a literary sociopath whose reputation has been greatly inflated by his aggressive gift for self-promotion at the expense of others. Fuegi's documentation of his creepily Manson-like manipulation of talented but insecure women into a harem of love slaves and uncredited collaborators is long overdue.

1-0 out of 5 stars Badly written and full of misinformation.
This is a terribly bad book. It is full of factually incorrect assertions woven together into a distorted picture of the most influential and complex theater worker of the twentieth century. There is a total absence of critical perception or analysis, and for someone who claims to have been working so long in the field, Fuegi betrays a remarkable lack of insight into the dynamics of theater production. He pays lip-service to what he seems to believe are feminist principles, but underneath them, he shows great disregard for the opinions and achievements of the remarkable women who worked with Brecht throughout his life. Fuegi seems to have learned nothing from Brecht;his writing is plodding and turgid - all the more so in the context of Brecht's own sharpness and economy of language. Any other book on Brecht would provide a better introduction; I have only given it one star because I can't figure out how to give it less ... Read more


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