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Notes on a Cowardly Lion; The Biography of Bert Lahr

Lahr, John

ISBN 10: 0713901675 / ISBN 13: 9780713901672
Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1969
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

Very good tan cloth. Black titles. Spine tanned, slight wear. (1969), 8vo, x, [8], 3-394pp. [2], Dramatic Chronology, 7 Appendices, Index. Lahr's professional career and his complex private life are seen as an organic whole in a work that, combining immediacy with genuine perspective, is important both as a personal portrait and as a contribution to theater history. "This book was written over a period of six years. Mrs. Billy K. Wells has been especially helpful, allowing me to look at her husband's burlesque notebooks and to reproduce some of his sketches and songs.". Bookseller Inventory # 004035

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Notes on a Cowardly Lion; The Biography of ...

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, New York

Publication Date: 1969

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Edition: Reprint Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

With a New Preface by the Author
First published in 1969, Notes on a Cowardly Lion has established itself as one of the best-ever show business biographies. 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 his father--the raucous low-comic star of burlesque, vaudeville, the Broadway revue and musical, Hollywood movies, and the legitimate stage. Here in rich detail is Lahr evolving from low--dialect comic to Ziegfeld Follies sophisticate, hamming it up with the Scarecrow and Tin Woodsman on the set of The Wizard of Oz, and debuting Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in America, which Kenneth Tynan called "one of the most noble performances I have ever seen." In the examination of Bert Lahr's chronic insecurity and self-absorption, the breakdown of his first marriage, and the affectionate arm's length he kept between himself and his adoring second family, John Lahr's book also brings the reader closer than any other theater biography to the private torment of a great funny man.
This edition of the book includes the award-winning essay "The Lion and Me," John Lahr's intimate reflections on family life with his distant, brooding, but lovable father. A first-class stylist, John Lahr takes the reader beyond the magic of show business to a dazzling examination of how a performing self is constructed and staged before the paying customers. Both as theater history and biography, Lahr's book is superb.

From the Back Cover:

"An always intelligent, often moving biography that shifts with impressive ease, depth and clarity from a son writing about his father to a theater critic and cultural historian analyzing a great comic and his time." (Jules Feiffer)

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