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 : 42. 67 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).

Notes On A Cowardly Lion

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 0520223047
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 39. 63 MB
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Drawing on his father's recollections and on the memories of those who worked with him, John Lahr brilliantly examines the history of modern American show business through the long and glorious career of Bert Lahr. 66 photos.

Prick Up Your Ears

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 9781453288757
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 44. 92 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.

Tennessee Williams

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 9781408845769
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 78. 75 MB
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On 31 March 1945, at The Playhouse Theatre on Forty-Eight Street the curtain rose on the opening night of The Glass Menagerie. Tennessee Williams, the show's thirty-four-year-old playwright, sat hunched in an aisle seat, looking, according to one paper, 'like a farm boy in his Sunday best'. The Broadway premiere, which had been heading for disaster, closed to an astonishing twenty-four curtain calls and became an instant sell-out. Beloved by an American public, Tennessee Williams's work – blood hot and personal – pioneered, as Arthur Miller declared, 'a revolution' in American theatre. Tracing Williams's turbulent moral and psychological shifts, acclaimed theatre critic John Lahr sheds new light on the man and his work, as well as the America his plays helped to define. Williams created characters so large that they have become part of American folklore: Blanche, Stanley, Big Daddy, Brick, Amanda and Laura transcend their stories, haunting us with their fierce, flawed lives. Similarly, Williams himself swung high and low in his single-minded pursuit of greatness. Lahr shows how Williams's late-blooming homosexual rebellion, his struggle against madness, his grief-struck relationships with his combustible father, prim and pious mother and 'mad' sister Rose, victim to one of the first lobotomies in America, became central themes in his drama. Including Williams's poems, stories, journals and private correspondence in his discussion of the work – posthumously Williams has been regarded as one of the best letter writers of his day – Lahr delivers an astoundingly sensitive and lively reassessment of one of America's greatest dramatists. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh is the long-awaited, definitive life and a masterpiece of the biographer's art.

The Autograph Hound

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 9781453288764
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 73. 22 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.

Dame Edna Everage And The Rise Of Western Civilization

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 0520223055
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 85. 58 MB
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An insider's account of a great clown and a great act, this book goes backstage at London's Theatre Royal, with Barry Humphries, and into the weird and wonderful world of his show-stopping creation, Dame Edna Everage. 8 photos.

Show And Tell

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 0520233778
Genre : History
File Size : 31. 79 MB
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"What a talented, wonderful, and complete writer."--Mel Brooks "By far the best thing about my stuff I've ever read."--Arthur Miller "These are wonderful portraits."--Edna O'Brien "The high-water mark of theatrical reportage. Exhilarating! Smart! Lahr gives as much thunderous pleasure as the great entertainers he writes about."--Richard Avedon "There's never been an American critic like John Lahr. His writing exalts, honors, and dignifies the profession and, more importantly, the art."--Tony Kushner

Coward The Playwright

Author : John Lahr
ISBN : 0520234146
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 75. 79 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.

Acting Comedy

Author : Christopher Olsen
ISBN : 9781317486657
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 81. 47 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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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.

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz

Author : L. Frank Baum
ISBN : 9780956527769
Genre : Fantasy fiction
File Size : 85. 53 MB
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After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great Wizard in order to return to Kansas.

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