Put on a happy face : a Broadway memoir

by Strouse, Charles.

Format: Print Book 2008
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks ML410.S937 A3 2008x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Music - Open Stacks
Call Number  ML410.S937 A3 2008x
Just about everyone who can hum knows and loves Charles Strouse's music. He composed some of the most successful shows in Broadway history ( Annie , Bye Bye Birdie , Applause , and Golden Boy ); wrote the film score for Bonnie and Clyde as well as the unforgettable theme song for All in the Family ; has been sampled by one of today's biggest rap stars--Jay-Z, in the Grammy-winning Hard Knock Life ; and his songs have been sung by musical greats from Frank Sinatra to Ray Charles to Barbra Streisand.
Timed to coincide with public celebrations of his 80th birthday, Put on a Happy Face grants an insider's glimpse of Broadway, Hollywood, and beyond. With sparkling wit, Strouse relates the behind-the-curtain stories of his remarkable achievements, and tells fascinating tales about the people he's worked with along the way, including Butterfly McQueen, Gower Champion, Sammy Davis Jr., Lauren Bacall, Mel Brooks, Clifford Odets, Warren Beatty, Hal Prince and Carol Burnett. Strouse is a musical-theater legend who is as entertaining on the page as his work is on the stage!
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Strouse is best-known for having written the music for the Broadway hits Bye Bye Birdie and Annie, both somewhat lightweight shows the first, a lighthearted look at teen life, circa 1960; the other, a singing-dancing version of the classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie. Yet both have grace and power that haven't diminished over the years. The same may come to be said of this lively, highly readable memoir. Strouse touches on the darker themes in his life his mother's mental illness, his own battles with self-esteem but lightly. He spends much more time recounting, in a gentle, amusing tone, the episodes of his life: Depression-era childhood, years of struggle working for summer camps and playing dance rehearsals, and myriad triumphs and bombs on Broadway and off. What is truly remarkable is how free of ego and bitterness this autobiography is. Even Strouse's two much-publicized Broadway flops, Nick and Nora and Dance a Little Closer (speciously aka Close a Little Faster), are handled with aplomb. One finishes the book utterly charmed by the man and his wit.--Helbig, Jack Copyright 2008 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Three-time Tony Award-winning composer Strouse is best known for the musical Annie and his All in the Family theme, Those Were the Days. While wary of the ghosts that appear, he summons up memories of a career that spans decades, beginning with his Manhattan boyhood, study at Rochester's Eastman School of Music, touring the South with Butterfly McQueen and early collaborations with lyricist Lee Adams. His 1950s pianist gigs ran the gamut from strip clubs to musical theater classes at the Actors Studio: Typically, I would have accompanied Kevin McCarthy and Marilyn Monroe in a scene from Oklahoma! After his 1960 smash hit Bye Bye Birdie, there were plenty of happy faces and more long runs. Although he covers his film scores and music for TV commercials, the book's best chapters center on the staging struggles of Annie and Applause, plus breaking racial barriers with Sammy Davis Jr. in Golden Boy. Many songs are cited, but the lack of lyrics is disappointing, Strouse instead regales with fascinating, sometimes surprising, anecdotes, such as Mike Nichols, clad in a new camel-hair coat, skidding about in his own vomit at an airport. Detailing desperate rewrites, insecurities of theater people, footlight failures and humiliations, as well as theatrical triumphs, Strouse's superb backstage memoir deserves a standing ovation. 16-page b&w insert. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Strouse, Charles.
Composers -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Union Square Press,2008
Language English
Notes Includes index.
Description 326 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781402758898 (hardcover)
1402758898 (hardcover)
Other Classic View