Off stage

by Comden, Betty.

Format: Print Book 1995
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks ML423.C78 A3 1995
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks
 
Call Number  ML423.C78 A3 1995
 
 
Summary
"With her lifelong collaborator, Adolph Green, Betty Comden has enjoyed the kind of glory known only to the greatest of Broadway and Hollywood's luminaries. Their many successes as lyricists were written with some of the theater's greatest composers: On the Town and Wonderful Town with Leonard Bernstein; Bells Are Ringing and Hallelujah Baby, among others, with Jule Styne; and On the Twentieth Century and The Will Rogers Follies with Cy Coleman. These shows have won them six Tony awards. In addition, Betty has written, always with Adolph Green, the screenplays for numerous films, including the legendary screen musicals Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon. Hers is a career that has spanned many decades, and known countless triumphs." "Her early success in the worlds of theater and film brought her friendship and collaboration with great stars such as Gene Kelly and Lauren Bacall, and warm relationships with idols of her childhood like Charles Chaplin, Fred Astaire, and Groucho Marx." "But offstage and behind the scenes, her life has not always gone the way she might have scripted it. Acknowledging that there are no rewrites in life, this very intimate book is a personal remembrance - a humorous and moving trip through an extraordinary lifetime - from her childhood in Brooklyn and her close relationship with her family to her exodus into the Big City, Manhattan, where the "fearful, aspiring theater nut" attended N.Y.U., and shortly after met Steven Kyle, the man she married and loved for life." "In Off Stage she describes her life as an intricate balancing act, juggling home and career and not always providing the happy endings her shows offered. She writes of the lessons she has learned as a wife and mother - about her early difficulties with her daughter and the loss of her son to the ravages of drugs." "Informed by the experience of working in the theater, and in musical films when they were a fine art form, this book is not only of special interest for theater and movie buffs, but also the inspirational story of a woman of many talents and interests who tried to have it all - and very nearly succeeded."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Those hoping for an eyewitness account of the heyday of the musical will be disappointed by Comden's memoir. She admits in the opening pages to having no interest in discussing the working life of the team she and husband Adolf Green made up and that helped bring us such perennials as Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, and The Will Rogers Follies. She focuses instead on her early life, first in a lower-middle-class Brooklyn Jewish household during the 1920s and 1930s, and then as she failed to make it as an actress before settling on a writing career. She writes wittily and tightly, as you'd expect of one who cites Strunk's Elements of Style as a major influence. Still, her reminiscences wander and frustrate with the precious little space they devote to her friends Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall, and Charlie Chaplin, not to mention Green, who's almost not in the book. But then, Comden concludes with an intelligent discussion of growing old and a heartbreaking account of her son's losing battle with drug addiction. --Jack Helbig"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Betty Comden and Adolph Green together have written musicals for the theater and scripts for the movies over an astonishing seven decades, including titles from Bells Are Ringing and The Will Rogers Follies to Singin' in the Rain and Band Wagon. Now Comden has written a memoir of her private life. She barely mentions her successes as a writer for stage and screen; even her collaborator, Green, is passed over. Instead, she recalls her Brooklyn childhood and her successful marriage to Steven Kyle, an artist, who died of pancreatitis in 1979. They had two children. Son Alan's addiction to drugs led to his death from AIDS. Comden's sorrow and guilt permeate this memoir. It is ungracious to ask for what a writer is not offering us, but there is not enough in the domestic joys and tragedies of Comden's private life to justify this account. There are tidbits for her fans and information about famous friends, including Lauren Bacall, James Jones, Penelope Gilliat and Charles Chaplin, but little is added to our understanding of what combination of talents and chemistry fueled this brilliant and creative half of the legendary Comden-Green partnership. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Comden, Betty.
Librettists -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Simon & Schuster,1995
Language English
Description 272 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
ISBN 0671705792
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