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Then and Now: A Memoir

Then and Now: A Memoir

by Barbara Cook, Tom Santopietro
Then and Now: A Memoir

Then and Now: A Memoir

by Barbara Cook, Tom Santopietro




One of the greatest American singers and actresses of her generation looks back on a magical and turbulent life spanning a half century of theatrical history from the golden age of the Broadway musical to the present day.

A legend of the American theater, Barbara Cook burst upon the scene to become Broadway’s leading ingénue in roles such as Cunégonde in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, Amalia Balash in Jerry Bock’s She Loves Me, and her career-defining, Tony-winning role as the original Marian the librarian in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. But in the late 1960s, Barbara’s extraordinary talent onstage was threatened by debilitating depression and alcoholism that forced her to step away from the limelight and out of the public life. Emerging from the shadows in the early 1970s, Barbara reinvented herself as the country’s leading concert and cabaret artist, performing the songs of Stephen Sondheim and other masters, while establishing a reputation as one of the greatest and most acclaimed interpreters of the American songbook.

Taking us deep into her life and career, from her childhood in the South to the Great White Way, Then and Now candidly and poignantly describes both her personal difficulties and the legendary triumphs, detailing the extraordinary working relationships she shared with many of the key composers, musicians, actors and performers of the late twentieth century, among them Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Elaine Stritch, and Robert Preston.

Hailed by the Financial Times of London as "the greatest singer in the world", but preferring to think of herself as "a work in progress", Barbara Cook here delivers a powerful, personal tale of pain and triumph, as straight forward, unflinchingly honest, and open hearted as her singing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062090461
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/21/2016
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Barbara Cook, a 2011 Kennedy Center honoree and member of the Theater Hall of Fame, has starred in eighteen Broadway shows. She received a Tony Award nomination in 2010 for Sondheim on Sondheim, fifty-three years after winning a Tony for her performance in The Music Man. Now in her late eighties, she continues to perform as a cabaret and concert singer.

Tom Santopietro is the author of five books, including The Sound of Music Story and the New York Times Editors’ Choice Considering Doris Day.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Childhood 1

2 Glenwood Avenue 9

3 Discovering Show Business 19

4 The Thrill of New York 27

5 The Reality of New York 39

6 Meeting David LeGrant 65

7 Broadway 71

8 Leonard Bernstein and Candide 81

9 The Music Man 101

10 Marriage, Motherhood, and Career 119

11 One for My Baby 131

12 Matters of the Heart 143

13 Drinking Again 147

14 Wally Harper 165

15 Career Renaissance 189

16 Losing Wally 213

17 New Choices 223

18 As of Today 229

19 Still Capable of Wonder 235

Acknowledgments 239

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