TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH by Andrew Rannells


A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood
Email this review


A Grammy Award–winning actor and singer recalls his unique childhood and ascent to notoriety.

In a spirited debut saturated with personality and frank humor, Rannells tells the stories of his youth growing up as the fourth of five siblings in Omaha, Nebraska. The son of an advertising salesman and a former teen model, the author fostered his love of live theater by watching musicals from the 1940s and ’50s and by viewing the Tony Awards broadcast, which “was so much better than the movies; it was live!” Moving swiftly through the trajectory of his budding career, Rannells shares amusing anecdotes on his Midwestern upbringing, being taught “how to throw shade” by his grandma Josephine, becoming a busy “shameless entertainer” on the Omaha theater scene, and his timely decision to come out to his conservative parents mere days before moving to New York City in 1997 to study the arts. These chapters form a descriptive rainbow of personal mishaps as the author describes his sexual awakenings; having to endure priestly inappropriateness while he was a student at an all-boys Jesuit Catholic high school; meeting his best friend, Zuzanna, at an audition; nightclub adventures; and formative work at upstate New York summer stock. Despite a series of rude awakenings and rejections in the business—including an exhaustive tour with Pokemon Live!—Rannells, a model of persistence and dedication, ultimately found his footing and branched out toward a momentous Broadway debut in Hairspray in 2006. Later, he earned a Tony Award nomination for the originating role of Elder Price in The Book of Mormon. The author is a natural raconteur who engages readers with self-effacing honesty about his life’s great expectations and fumbles. His life story will be encouraging and inspirational particularly for theater buffs and readers pursuing a stage career, and musical fans will savor his enticingly told journey from awkward childhood to fame in the spotlight.

An inspiring and consistently witty entertainment memoir.

Pub Date: March 12th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-525-57485-9
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2019


NonfictionTHERE I GO AGAIN by William Daniels
by William Daniels
NonfictionANYTHING GOES by Ethan Mordden
by Ethan Mordden
NonfictionTHEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG by Carole Bayer Sager
by Carole Bayer Sager