GYPSY by Gypsy Rose Lee


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An autobiography whose roots are in old style, troupng, vaudeville, and a mother, Madame Rose, who was armored against any mishap for the promotion of her two daughters, Louise and June. From local shown to the circuits, Pantages and from Seattle, Washington, to New York, the little girls traveled with an act that grew and acquired polish the hard way; they knew all kinds of hotels, theaters, companions, there were dogs, guinea pigs, a goose, pig, monkey, rat -- and more to be cared for and transported; there was even a tutor when run-ins with children's welfare agents got too nosy; radio was a monster that devoured their audiences and was followed by talking pictures. And when June elopes there is a new company whose wanderings ended in burlesque which became the open door for Gypsy, at 16, that took her to Broadway and Minsky's as a star. There was the gangster Gordon who forced her to have her teeth straightened; there were discoverers who drew her away from the burlesque world -- and there was the Follies which made the break complete. The dreariness and shabbiness, the bitter scrabblings for recognition, the makeshifts -- and the glitter all in friendly, honest, sad, funny and wry recall. Good stuff.

Publisher: Harper