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Streisand’s talent and marketing acumen are effectively dissected, and the meticulously detailed backdrop of 1960’s New York - rehearsal halls, penthouse suites, and ubiquitous power brokers - are sure to be of interest to any aficionado of Mad Men, Broadway, and, of course, Babs herself.
In 1960, she was a 17-year-old Brooklyn kid with plenty of talent but no connections and certainly no money; her mother brought her soup to make sure she stayed fed as she took acting classes and scraped out a living. Just four years later, Barbra Streisand was the top-selling female recording artist in America and the star of one of Broadway’s biggest hits. Now the acclaimed Hollywood biographer William Mann chronicles that dizzying ascent, telling the riveting behind-the-scenes story of how Streisand and her team transformed her from an unknown dreamer into a worldwide superstar.
Drawing on the private papers of Jerome Robbins and Bob Fosse, and interviewing scores of the friends and lovers who knew Barbara before she became Barbra, Mann recreates the vanished world of 1960s New York City and uncovers the truth behind the myths of her formative years. He shows us how Funny Girl was slowly altered, by Fosse and Robbins among others, from a Fanny Brice bio into a star-making vehicle for Streisand; takes us into the clubs and onto the set for her early nightclub and television appearances, including her torch-handing turn with Judy Garland; and introduces the canny marketing team whose strategies made her stardom seem inevitable. The Streisand who emerges is a revelation: a young woman who, for all her tough-skinned ambition, was surprisingly vulnerable in love.
Everyone who has felt outside the gate, as she once did, remembers a time when the newness and difference of Barbra Streisand changed everything and rewrote all the rules. In Hello, Gorgeous, Mann incisively illuminates the woman before she became the icon and pays tribute to one of the world’s most beloved performers.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Terry Darden on 11-19-14
Needs New Narrator
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
No - narrator should be better.
How could the performance have been better?
The narrator spoke way too slow and sounded like she was reading the book to grade school children.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
I absolutely love Barbra Streisand and am going to finish the book because of that, but the narrator makes it very difficult for me to concentrate on the book's content.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Fiona on 05-29-15
Barbara The Beautiful
From a very small girl when I first saw Barbra in Funny Girl sing 'Don't Rain On My Parade" I was hooked ! Hearing her sing "People" and many other favourite songs. Watching Hello Dolly I just loved her and so wanted to meet her. Because like her I have a large nose but because of Barbra I chose not to change it !! My dream eventually came true when I attended the Chaplin Award at the Lincoln Centre NY in 2013 to honour Barbra. Even though I was a long way back, I was in her company it was Fantastic. Thank you Barbra from your British sister who loves you so very much. This book gave me an even greater in site, it is a must read. very good.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful