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Fanny Brice: The Original Funny Girl

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"I've done everything in the theatre except marry a property man," Fanny Brice once boasted. "I've acted for Belasco and I've laid 'em out in the rows at the Palace. I've doubled as an alligator; I've worked for the Shuberts; and I've been joined to Billy Rose in the holy bonds. I've painted the house boards and I've sold tickets and I've been fired by George M. Cohan. I'v ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 1993 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 1992)
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Theatre, performance in general, is a funny thing to write history about. Unlike other arts--visual arts like painting and sculpture, textual arts like stories or poetry, even musical composition--performance is utterly ephemeral; it leaves no record of itself, only (at best) of people's description of or reactions to it. And so people who were powerful or important performers are hard to write about unless their performance was captured somehow (on film, etc). We have only traces of what made F ...more
May 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
This book was not very creatively written. It was a lot of facts about Fanny Brice's life and then a few seemingly out of places declarations about the authors thoughts on Brice and Barbara Streisand. That's not to say I didn't enjoy reading it. I've been interested in Fanny Brice since my family fell in love with Funny Girl and Funny Lady. The soundtracks were heard in our house often.

I think the general reader would be bored with the list of every vaudeville and theatrical show that Fanny did
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Biography Fans
Shelves: biography
I knew very little about Fanny Brice before I picked up this book, and I learned quite a lot about this interesting lady by the time I was done reading. She was a layered presence, if that makes sense, and the author does a fairly good job of delving into those layers.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating, remarkable woman. While this suffers a bit from spotty sourcing, it is a workmanlike job. One is left wanting to know more.
Vicki Beyer
May 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
I may be the only person in the world who has never seen "Funny Girl" and I was glad that I came to this book without any preconceived notions. I enjoyed the insights on show business in the early 19th century and how far chutzpah (even though the author never used that word) could take someone. The way in which Fanny Brice evolved her career, loved men like her father, disliked (and then became like) her mother, were all well portrayed. The various other people who come and go in her life were ...more
Mar 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs-n-bios
As a comedienne, this was an interesting book and I might add another star. But I'm not so sure that it would be enjoyed by a general fan of memoirs who is not a performer. The book read more like a detailed log of people, places and events through-out Ms. Brice's life than it did a story. I guess I am perhaps more accustomed to memories written by the individual themselves. This book, although packed with specific detail, read more like an impersonal collaboration of notes.
Margaret Klein
Jul 22, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I love musical theater and the history of musical theater. I am always intrigued by the contribution Jews have made to musical theater and I love the line from Spam-a-lot, "You won't succeed on Broadway if you don't have any Jews." However, this book was tedious and repetitive and I did not like it. I don't know what else to say about it. It was hard to keep track of what was going on. I would not recommend it.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Interesting read about a main character in the world of entertainment in the early 1900's. Picked it up at J.K.King Books--one of my favorite places to browse the show-biz bio shelves and just grab what looks good.
Mary Jo
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Always been a Funny Girl fan so it was interesting to read the real story.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Very interesting lady and life. Writing style was a bit jumpy and unfinished.
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, on-sale, kindle
$1.99 Kindle version
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
A really good biography of Fanny Brice that traces her life both on and off stage.
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