Put on a Happy Face
As a song writer and lover of musicals, I found this Charles Strouse autobiography delightful. He has written some good musicals and some great ones. My favorite is Bye Bye Birdie. I enjoyed reading about his creative process and the behind-the-scenes stories. I was fascinated reading how certain casts were selected and the politics involved. I often wondered how blond Janet Leigh beat out Chita Rivera for the role of Rosie Alvarez in the movie version of Birdie. I had forgotten about all the controversy when Sammy Davis Jr. was cast in Golden Boy and was the first Black actor to kiss a Caucasian women on stage and the death threats that ensued. Strouse has a great wit and his writing style was easy-going and conversational. Strouse is in both the Theatre and Songwriters Hall of Fame. He has led a charmed life.