Footnotes: A Memoir

3.43 avg rating
( 46 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780684841823: Footnotes: A Memoir

The Tony-award winning Broadway dancer and choreographer shares his memoirs of his entertainment career, from his childhood in Texas to his rise to stardom in such hits as The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and My One And Only. 60,000 first printing. Tour.

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Review:

Broadway icon Tommy Tune rummages through the packed attic of his eventful life as a nine-time Tony-winning dancer, director, and choreographer for his colorful memoir, Footnotes. Tune brings forth a surprising amount of grit from the glitter and froufrou, plus several startlingly graphic passages. His Texas boyhood amid supportive parents lead to a quick rise in the world of 1970s Broadway, and brought this modern-day Fred Astaire to success at the helm of shows such as Nine, My One and Only, Grand Hotel, and The Club. There are regrets, philosophy, affairs with men and women, and soft-focus reminiscences of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Agnes de Mille, and others. But behind it all he reveals an unaccountable feeling of emptiness and hunger for light, movement, and beauty. A sidelining foot injury in 1995 left him in the reflective mood conveyed in Footnotes, but Tune's story isn't over yet.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A breezy, episodic series of autobiographical vignettes and musings on life by the Tony-winning dancer/choreographer/director. Yes, Tommy Tune is his real name, and he drops plenty of other famous ones, from Michael Bennett and Twiggy to Agnes De Mille and Gene Kelly, as he chronicles his odyssey from Texas tyke to Broadway triple-threat. His prose is often perilously folksy- -especially his annoying habit of reproducing the way he talks in words like ``whistlin' '' and ``fascinatin' ''--but, like his friend Carol Channing (portrayed with loving three-dimensionality), Tune is smarter than his public persona suggests. His thoughtful observations on everything from getting older (he's 58) to his tendency toward dead-end relationships give this book more depth than the usual show-biz memoir. Descriptions of his work as a performer (Seesaw, My One and Only, etc.) and director (Nine, Grand Hotel, etc.) are nicely specific (to use a favorite Tune adjective) and offer real insight into how musicals are collaboratively created. The author is generous with praise for coworkers like director Mike Nichols and designer Tony Walton, but frank about artistic disagreements, and merciless in airing personal grievances, as when Lucie Arnaz refused to kiss him onstage because she feared he might have AIDS or when a longtime boyfriend took him to a humiliating Christmas dinner at the apartment of the boyfriend's new lover. Tune is enthusiastically bisexual, and a couple of raunchy sex scenes may offend the squeamish. But his love for the theater and the people who give their lives to it makes this an engaging and occasionally touching work. Scrambled chronology and general vagueness about dates are in keeping with the casual tone. Waxing earthy and ethereal by turns, the six-foot-six Tune here lives up to his dancing teacher's admonition: ``Tommy, you've got your head in the clouds, be sure to keep your feet on the ground.'' (photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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