Monday, August 8, 2011

Listen to this Book

I know that celebrity bios are not everybody's cuppa tea, but I've been reading them since I was a kid. There's just so much blood and gore that you can take before you have to step back and get some backstage gossip under your belt.

I have a large collection of celebrity biographies and autobiographies that I have collected over the years. I probably won't read a lot of the ones already on the shelf, but I have enjoyed, for example, the stories of Paul Muni (one of the best celebrity bios I've read), James Mason, Judy Garland (of course--I've read several biographies of her), Carol Burnett, Beverly Sills, Stan Freberg, and many, many more. One shelf in our "Pepto room" (the room that is painted the color of Pepto Bismol), which spans the width of the room, is filled with celebrity bios.

I wouldn't say I was a huge fan of Kristin Chenoweth and I really don't remember now how I came to buy the audio version of her delightful autobiography, "A Little Bit Wicked," rather than the print version, but once the last murder had been committed and the last bad guy got his comeuppance in my last blood and gore book, I was ready for something lighter.

And what could be lighter than Kristin Chenoweth? Galinda herself.

I am almost finished with this thoroughly enjoyable book and I am here to encourage anybody who is remotely interested in reading it, to get the audio book. You will miss SO much if you just read it. Chenoweth is the reader of her story, and so it comes with giggles and singing and a dialog with her best friend (whose name I can't tell you because I don't have a print copy of the book to look it up -- but Denny somebody). Also, you will miss a lot of homespun humor without her Oklahoma accent telling all these stories.

It's not so much as a linear biography, but more a memoir where she flits from thing to thing and it's sometimes difficult to keep it all in a chronological perspective, but who cares? The stories are just great (the chapter on hair extensions is hilarious). She doesn't take herself seriously and you get the feeling that whatever you see on TV is just the way she is. I especially loved the parts of the book where she bursts into song, briefly -- you don't get that in a print version! I also have to try her killer trailer trash cookies.

I still have 1/3 of the book to go and she's just gotten to the reason I bought it in the first place -- the story of how she got her role in Wicked and what it was like preparing for the show.

But I don't know that I have ever enjoyed a celebrity biography this much in a long time.

HMSP.jpg  (43450 bytes)We went to San Francisco today to see H.M.S. Pinafore. It occurs to me that this was the VERY FIRST Gilbert & Sullivan operetta I ever saw, back in the 1960s, in the Greek Theater at UC Berkeley. My father, who used to usher when shows came to town and so had seen a lot of D'Oyly Carte, raised me to think that G&S was the worst music ever written. Walt took me to Pinafore and I went expecting to hate it and was surprised to discover that I didn't.

The rest, as they say, is history.

I couldn't begin to tell you how many times I've seen this show (and this is probably my least favorite G&S operetta!), but it was a good production (I expected nothing less) and at intermission I got to see pictures of Cordelia, my friend Alison's new granddaughter, which was fun.

Traffic was terrible--Giants game in San Francisco today and regular Sunday traffic. It takes an hour and a half to get from our house to the Lamplighters theater. It took us 2 hours to get 3/4 of that way going home today.

But it was worth it--and I got to have dinner out, which was a plus. Besides, there was lots and lots of time to listen to Chenoweth's book!


phonelady said...

Oh wow the traffic I feel your pain . In football season we go to columbus and ohio state is playing forget getting home quick that just aint happening. You would think that the bengals were in town . LOL !!!!Glad you liked the show . I like kristen chenowith she was in a show I liked a couple of years ago called pushing daisies . It was funny .

Harriet said...

I've been listening to Water for Elephants, which I mention only because we already know that it's good. But I miss the ability to look at a word I didn't get, or to thumb back quickly for reference (like someone's name).

Some celebrity bios are wonderful. Some are whines. "The true story as told by her sister" turned out to be "Mom always liked her best..."

Bev Sykes said...

Water for Elephants was another one I'm glad I LISTENED to rather than read. I loved having the two voices.

Kwizgiver said...

Thanks for the tip on the Chenowith book! I'll definitely check out the audio version. Actually, it might make a good gift!