Underfoot in Show Business

Underfoot in Show Business

It's a book about show business, where fame is the stock in trade. Each year there are hundreds of stagestruck kids arrive in New York determined to crash the theatre, firmly convinced they're destined to be famous Broadway stars or playwrights....

DownloadRead Online
Title:Underfoot in Show Business
Author:Helene Hanff
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Underfoot in Show Business Reviews

  • Margaret H. Willison

    There is just something about Helene's voice that makes her feel like my funniest friend. She just knows her way around a good story. While 84 Charing Cross Road will always be first in my Hanff-heart, Underfoot in Show Business is a very close second and should not, NOT BY ANY MEANS, be out-of-print. Hanff's stories about she and her friend Maxine* struggling to make it as a playwright and actress (respectively) in 1940s Manhattan are just hilarious. They make me profoundly nostalgic for that t

    There is just something about Helene's voice that makes her feel like my funniest friend. She just knows her way around a good story. While 84 Charing Cross Road will always be first in my Hanff-heart, Underfoot in Show Business is a very close second and should not, NOT BY ANY MEANS, be out-of-print. Hanff's stories about she and her friend Maxine* struggling to make it as a playwright and actress (respectively) in 1940s Manhattan are just hilarious. They make me profoundly nostalgic for that time period without ever overtly romanticizing it. Just the way that certain people have of making everything sound fun without every being dishonest about it, Helene's got that, in spades. She also has genuinely hilarious stories-- like my favorite, of Oklahoma! and its out-of-town opening, in the chapter "No jokes. No legs. No chance."

    If you love 84 Charring Cross Road, but haven't read any of Hanff's other books, start here. And if you haven't read either, MY GOD READER, what are you waiting for?? SNAP TO!

    *Who always makes me think of the line from When Harry Met Sally-- "People were always crossing rooms to talk to Maxine."

  • Linda Robinson

    Hanff is a gifted memoirist. This book includes the timeline of 84, Charing Cross Road, which makes the story seem even more personal–as though the author is a friend writing you letters from an apartment smack in the middle of the NY writing scene. She never gets a play produced, but she tells us about the journey without bitterness, happy to be writing, even if it is for television for a few years. The chapter that reveals how she and her actress friend Maxine get into movies and plays for fre

    Hanff is a gifted memoirist. This book includes the timeline of 84, Charing Cross Road, which makes the story seem even more personal–as though the author is a friend writing you letters from an apartment smack in the middle of the NY writing scene. She never gets a play produced, but she tells us about the journey without bitterness, happy to be writing, even if it is for television for a few years. The chapter that reveals how she and her actress friend Maxine get into movies and plays for free is funny. "Meet me in front of Sardi's and don't wear a coat." Hanff wrote this first long book because a Harper's editor asked if she could/would, so she did. Made me nostalgic for more memoir that shares the excitement and gratitude for a life that gets close to living the dream, and reminds us that mostly that's what we all do.

  • Anna

    UPDATE 27.12.15: While staying with my parents for Christmas, I rediscovered this book on their shelves and felt compelled to re-read it. It is just as much of a charming delight the second time around, as well as wonderfully easy to relate to some eighty odd years after events begin. I firmly believe that Flanagan's Law applies outside the theatre.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    This book is an absolute delight and several times caused me to commit the so

    UPDATE 27.12.15: While staying with my parents for Christmas, I rediscovered this book on their shelves and felt compelled to re-read it. It is just as much of a charming delight the second time around, as well as wonderfully easy to relate to some eighty odd years after events begin. I firmly believe that Flanagan's Law applies outside the theatre.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    This book is an absolute delight and several times caused me to commit the social faux pas of laughing to myself on public transport. I think I unsettled my train seat neighbour, who was reading Les Mis on a kindle. In any event, this autobiographical romp recounts Helene's adventures with her friend Maxine, attempting to get into show business and mostly doing terrible jobs for low pay. The sense of friendship, joy, and ingenious attempts to get things for free greatly appealed to me and reminded me of happy times as an undergraduate. Hanff is an extremely engaging writer, always witty and self-deprecating. I can hardly fault a book that fully distracted me from the annoyance of a cancelled train and one hour delay. Highly recommended.

  • Chas

    This is a book that lifts the spirits! Poverty there is, but also humour, beauty, outrageous behaviour and life in the raw, it's all there; or is it? Is Helene Hanff putting on a brave face for her readers and only telling us the funniest and least sordid bits of her life as a playwright, hack TV writer and all round back room girl in 'the industry' aka showbiz?

    A memoir and 'how to write' manual combined, I have placed this book on the Essential Shelf and the five stars are twinkling like sirens

    This is a book that lifts the spirits! Poverty there is, but also humour, beauty, outrageous behaviour and life in the raw, it's all there; or is it? Is Helene Hanff putting on a brave face for her readers and only telling us the funniest and least sordid bits of her life as a playwright, hack TV writer and all round back room girl in 'the industry' aka showbiz?

    A memoir and 'how to write' manual combined, I have placed this book on the Essential Shelf and the five stars are twinkling like sirens to lead all you future sailors onto the rocks of publishing, may your draught be shallow enough not to collide with them. Amen

  • Marybeth

    As if I didn't already adore this woman thanks to 84 Charing Cross Road and The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, she writes a hysterical memoir about her attempts to "crash the theatre" in the 1940s. I had already laughed twice by the second page and lost count before I got to the end.

  • Jporter9

    Delightful and witty memoir of trying to make it in show business. Especially good if you've ever lived in NYC.

  • Alana

    Why I had never picked up this author earlier, especially with how short her books are, I have no idea; they are truly a joy to read. Hanff wrote with such spunk and dry humor, taking jabs at herself, her industry, the realities of trying to "make it" in show business (and failing miserably), and just ordinary life.

    I found her tales of TV writing in the 50s educational and comedic... I grew up watching I Love Lucy reruns with their silly twin beds, so I know it was a bit ridiculous, but the spec

    Why I had never picked up this author earlier, especially with how short her books are, I have no idea; they are truly a joy to read. Hanff wrote with such spunk and dry humor, taking jabs at herself, her industry, the realities of trying to "make it" in show business (and failing miserably), and just ordinary life.

    I found her tales of TV writing in the 50s educational and comedic... I grew up watching I Love Lucy reruns with their silly twin beds, so I know it was a bit ridiculous, but the specifics of what Hallmark banned from their stories and what network TV tried to censor were amusing at best, and disturbing at worst, from what they tried to dictate to their viewing public. "Hallmark was a biographical show--and you just wouldn't believe how many of the world's great heroes and heroines failed to live up to the moral standards of American television." And I had to just shake my head at Hallmark's specific criteria about not offending the British by avoiding doing anything about the Revolutionary War.

    I had no idea about all of the numerous flopped plays of the 40s or the Theatre Guild's attempts to bring in new playwrights... including educating young writers just about to death, while the year before they had simply given their scholarship money to two young writers and sent them on their way...and they turned out to be two of the greatest playwrights of the 20th century. One can, in fact, be over-educated!

    I think my favorite moment is right at the end with Helene's "shouted" (because she uses all caps) letter to her best friend, making absolute fun of herself in the best way: "Harpers wants me to write my autobiography how to get nowhere in the theatre...It turns out I spent all those years trying to write plays just so I could write a book about it afterwards..."

    4.5/5

    Pick up this author, you'll love her!

  • Martin

    Full of gentle humor as Helene relates the ups and downs of life in the theaters.

    For many years Helene struggled to pay the rent and struggled just to have a place to rent.

    A real rags to rags story, but she did not give up as it was her love of show business that kept her going.

    I was pleased to read that her talents were finally recognized and so she became a successful screen writer.

    Enjoy!

    .

  • Persephone

    This is actually Helene Hanff's first book, published in 1961, a few years before she enchanted millions with her

    . It's an episodic account of her years as a struggling playwright on Broadway, leading to how she ended up writing for television, and it overlaps (and never mentions) the period of her famous correspondence with Frank Doel and his staff at the London antiquarian book shop. We do meet a couple of friends who figure in

    , most significantly the irrepressible an

    This is actually Helene Hanff's first book, published in 1961, a few years before she enchanted millions with her

    . It's an episodic account of her years as a struggling playwright on Broadway, leading to how she ended up writing for television, and it overlaps (and never mentions) the period of her famous correspondence with Frank Doel and his staff at the London antiquarian book shop. We do meet a couple of friends who figure in

    , most significantly the irrepressible and incorrigible Maxine Stuart, a flame-haired actress who can't hold a tune (and yes, that is important).

    I think my favourite chapter covers the how and why of being an "outside reader" which includes everything you need to know about

    (warning: Hanff is

    a fan). However, I recommend your reading it for yourself to find your favourite bits. A book you can put down and pick up again quite comfortably.

  • Trelawn

    As usual I had a great time reading about Helene Hanff's life. This time she chronicled her failure to make her mark on Broadway. Her Oklahoma! and Lord of the Rings anecdotes alone make this worth the read but there is something romantic about her devotion to the theatre that draws you in. As well as being a Theatre Guild intern she worked as an assistant press agent, prop girl, outside reader and lots more. The stories of Helene and her actress best friend Maxine blagging their way into Broadw

    As usual I had a great time reading about Helene Hanff's life. This time she chronicled her failure to make her mark on Broadway. Her Oklahoma! and Lord of the Rings anecdotes alone make this worth the read but there is something romantic about her devotion to the theatre that draws you in. As well as being a Theatre Guild intern she worked as an assistant press agent, prop girl, outside reader and lots more. The stories of Helene and her actress best friend Maxine blagging their way into Broadway shows are endearing and you find yourself cheering for her when she finally earns enough money to move out of residences and garrets and manages to lease her own one and a half room apartment which she blows her savings decorating. I am immeasurably sad that I don't have anymore books by Miss Hanff to look forward to. She has been an interesting companion over the past few months.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.