Kirkus Star


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Almost apocryphal are the malapropisms and the bizarre antics of Minnie Guggenheimer as, for over four decades, she has presided over New York's summer stadium concerts. And in recent years her television appearances in which she further manifested her comic talent have tended to obscure her role as public benefactor. In this warm and consistently amusing book her daughter and the Stadium publicity director present a multi-dimensional portrait of ""Minnie"" in her various and bewildering roles. Daughter-in-law of a beautiful, cultivated and accomplished woman, the young Minnie was stimulated to make a career of her own, one which her awesome and disdainful mother-in-law could not ridicule. And so the flighty, over-protected girl turned with all her uncanny energy to providing New Yorkers and guests of New York with top musical entertainment at nominal rates. This, despite rain, thunder, passing planes, depressions, and wars, she has done. Totally oblivious to the forms or conventions of orthodox society, let alone musical convention, the uninhibited Minnie is apt enthusiastically to announce famous baritones as playing the title role in Aida or promise the audience a Mozart concerto by Tschaikowsky. And the audience loves it, her boners, her ultimate innnocence which often expresses itself in apparently obscene remarks, her spontaneity, and her generous acceptance of the role of clown. Written with taste, this never degenerates into a cruel or coarse caricature, but expresses from page to rollicking page a good natured and respectful understanding of New York's funniest benefactor.

Pub Date: July 8th, 1960
Publisher: Doubleday