notes on a cowardly lion the biography of bert lahr

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Notes On A Cowardly Lion

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 9781453288740
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 53. 87 MB
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A son’s funny, frank, and “endlessly fascinating” memoir of his father, Wizard of Oz star Bert Lahr (Harper’s Magazine). Bert Lahr, best known for his role as the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, made audiences laugh from burlesque stages to vaudeville to Broadway—and impressed them as Estragon in the American theater debut of Waiting for Godot. But reality wasn’t always funny for the legendary actor and comedian, or his family. Drawing on personal recollections and the memories of his father’s colleagues, a veteran writer for the New Yorker and renowned theater critic brilliantly explores both the long and glorious professional career of a Hollywood icon and the experience of growing up with him. Here, in rich detail, is Bert Lahr evolving from a low-comic star to a Ziegfeld Follies sophisticate, hamming it up with the Scarecrow and Tin Man on the set of TheWizard of Oz, and garnering rich praise as he performed in Samuel Beckett’s masterpiece. But while Lahr could be equally raucous and polished in public, in private he was painfully insecure and self-absorbed, keeping his family at arm’s length as he quietly battled his inner demons. “A work of literature, a work of history, a subtle psychological study,” Notes on a Cowardly Lion is more than one man’s quest to understand his father. It is an extraordinary examination of a life on the stage and screen (Harper’s Magazine). From a writer with an intimate knowledge of the theater and show business world, this is both a “frank and objective” (The New York Times Book Review) family memoir that will appeal to readers of Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking or Alan Cumming’s Not My Father’s Son, and a “book-length love letter. To open it is to enter a life, to participate in a sensibility and, perhaps most important, to laugh. Uproariously” (Life).

Prick Up Your Ears

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 9781453288757
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 56. 87 MB
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This mesmerizing story of playwright and author Joe Orton’s brief and remarkable life was named book of the year by Truman Capote and Nobel Prize–winning novelist Patrick White Told with precision and extensive detail, Prick Up Your Ears is the engrossing biography of playwright and novelist Joe Orton. Orton’s public career spanned only three years (1964–1967), but his work made a lasting mark on the international stage. From Entertaining Mr. Sloane to his career-making Loot, Orton’s plays often shocked, sometimes outraged, and always captivated audiences with their dark yet farcical cynicism. A rising star and undeniable talent, Orton left much undone when he was bludgeoned to death by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, who had educated Orton and also dreamed of becoming a famous writer. Prick Up Your Ears was the basis for the distinguished 1987 film of the same name, directed by Stephen Frears, with a screenplay by Alan Bennett, and starring Gary Oldman and Vanessa Redgrave. A brilliant, page-turning examination of the dueling forces behind Orton’s work, Prick Up Your Ears secured the playwright’s reputation as a great twentieth-century artist.

Acting Comedy

Author : Christopher Olsen
ISBN : 9781317486657
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 62. 29 MB
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Despite being roundly cited as much harder to perform than its dramatic counterpart, comic acting is traditionally seen as a performance genre that can’t be taught. At best it is often described as a skill that can only be learned "on the job" through years of practice, or given to a performer through natural talent. Acting Comedy is an effort to examine this idea more rigorously by looking at different aspects of the comic actor’s craft. Each chapter is written by an expert in a particular form—from actors and directors to teachers and standup comedians. Topics covered include: how performers work with audiences how comic texts can be enhanced through word and musical rhythm analysis how physical movements can generate comic moments and build character. This book is an invaluable resource for any performer focusing on the minute details of comic acting, even down to exactly how one delivers a joke on stage. Christopher Olsen’s unique collection of comic voices will prove essential reading for students and professionals alike.

A Portrait Of The Artist As Australian

Author : Paul Matthew St Pierre
ISBN : 0773526447
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 56. 30 MB
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This book is the first critical assessment of Humphries' entire oeuvre, especially his career as an author. Arguing that Humphries is one of Australia's greatest writers, the author reveals a multi-faceted artist whose success is rooted in the British music hall tradition, Dadaism and grotesquerie. Being Australian has also fundamentally shaped the performer and writer, and the author's defence of Humphries against charges of expatriatism is pertinent to the debate on Australian national identity.

I D Much Rather Laugh Preferisco Ridere

Author : Vincent Licitra
ISBN : 9781479739813
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 27. 25 MB
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Do not read this book if you are weak, scared, or otherwise indifferent to the world around you. Put this book down if you could care less about America and Americans or if you tire easily, are distracted quickly and would rather be superficially entertained while consuming a large bucket of popcorn. Stay away if you are content with your lot in life or do not believe in the power of love or the ability of the underdog to overcome hatred and evil intent on pressing down on the lives of your fellow man. Don’t pick this book up because it can impact your world in ways you may not be prepared to experience. This is a story of my life as I've lived it, and as I've come to see all things including: struggle, envy, scorn, individualism, prejudice and politics. The future must be confronted for it is always but one second removed from the present. Prepare to face your destiny and live a little. If you are still in possession of this written material, let me thank you for being at least willing to think outside the box, for examining the possibility of being willing to live outside the box, and perhaps for participating in a movement to utterly destroy the box we've all been placed in, which, in its current set up, permits not the realization of American democracy. God Speed.

Vincente Minnelli

Author : Emanuel Levy
ISBN : 9781466800052
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 35. 97 MB
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Vincente Minnelli, Hollywood's Dark Dreamer is the first full-length biography of Vincente Minnelli, one of the most legendary and influential directors in the twentieth century, encompassing his life, his art, and his artistry. Minnelli started out as a set and costume designer in New York, where he first notably applied his aesthetic principles to the Broadway stage design of Scheherazade. He became the first director of New York's Radio City Music Hall, as well as some of the most lavish Broadway musicals, including Ziegfeld Follies, and brought Josephine Baker back from Paris to star in his shows. As a film director, he discovered Lena Horne in a Harlem nightclub and cast her in his first movie, the legendary musical Cabin in the Sky. The winner of the Director Oscar for Gigi, the first film to win in all nine of its Oscar nominations, Minnelli directed such classics as the Oscar-winning An American in Paris, Meet Me in St. Louis, Father of the Bride, The Bad and the Beautiful, and Some Came Running. He was married to Judy Garland, who he met on the set of Meet Me in St. Louis and directed in such landmark films as The Clock; their daughter is actress-singer Liza Minnelli.

Coward The Playwright

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 0520234146
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 38. 52 MB
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In five dexterously argued chapters, John Lahr investigates all the major plays and many of Noël Coward's lesser-known pieces. Hay Fever, Private Lives, and Design for Living, for instance, make a fascinating group of "Comedies of Bad Manners." Blithe Spirit and Relative Values raise the "Ghost in the Fun Machine." And Lahr explores the "politics of charm" oozing through The Vortex, Easy Virtue, and Present Laughter. Further chapters consider the patriotic plays like Cavalcade and This Happy Breed and examples of Coward's later work, such as Waiting in the Wings and A Song at Twilight. In all Coward's stage work, Lahr detects a coherent philosophy in which charm is both the subject of Coward's comedies and the trap that makes his very public life a perpetual performance.

Samuel Beckett S Waiting For Godot

Author : William Hutchings
ISBN : 0313308799
Genre : Drama
File Size : 43. 7 MB
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Texts -- Meaning -- Intellectual contexts -- Dramatic art -- Performance.

The Autograph Hound

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 9781453288764
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 85. 66 MB
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Hailed as a “tour de force” by the New York Times, this irresistible novel captures John Lahr’s madcap genius Meet Benny Walsh: busboy at the Homestead restaurant in New York City by day, compulsive autograph hunter by night. Known for going to extraordinary lengths for a much-coveted signature, Benny is also tangled up with an actress and fellow autograph hound named Gloria, and drawn into an embittered battle with his archenemy, a headwaiter with a grudge. Lahr’s acclaimed debut novel captures one wild week in Benny’s life. It is an introduction to a brilliantly drawn and determined character who will stay with you long after the final page.

Tennessee Williams Mad Pilgrimage Of The Flesh

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 9780393247121
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 27. 69 MB
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National Book Critics Circle Award Winner: Biography Category National Book Award Finalist 2015 Winner of the Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award A Chicago Tribune 'Best Books of 2014' USA Today: 10 Books We Loved Reading Washington Post, 10 Best Books of 2014 The definitive biography of America's greatest playwright from the celebrated drama critic of The New Yorker. John Lahr has produced a theater biography like no other. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh gives intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate. With vivid cameos of the formative influences in Williams's life—his fierce, belittling father Cornelius; his puritanical, domineering mother Edwina; his demented sister Rose, who was lobotomized at the age of thirty-three; his beloved grandfather, the Reverend Walter Dakin—Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh is as much a biography of the man who created A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as it is a trenchant exploration of Williams’s plays and the tortured process of bringing them to stage and screen. The portrait of Williams himself is unforgettable: a virgin until he was twenty-six, he had serial homosexual affairs thereafter as well as long-time, bruising relationships with Pancho Gonzalez and Frank Merlo. With compassion and verve, Lahr explores how Williams's relationships informed his work and how the resulting success brought turmoil to his personal life. Lahr captures not just Williams’s tempestuous public persona but also his backstage life, where his agent Audrey Wood and the director Elia Kazan play major roles, and Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Bette Davis, Maureen Stapleton, Diana Barrymore, and Tallulah Bankhead have scintillating walk-on parts. This is a biography of the highest order: a book about the major American playwright of his time written by the major American drama critic of his time.

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