An episode from the childhood of the late mega–award-winning composer of Broadway and film.
New York City–born and –raised, Hamlisch was a child prodigy who was accepted into the Juilliard School at a very young age and who went on to win multiples of all the major performance awards—Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Add a Pulitzer Prize for the 1975 Broadway hit, A Chorus Line. In this extremely sweet (one might say saccharine) story, written in the third person, the young Marvin loves listening to sounds and playing his own melodies. Practice he hates. Performing for others he hates. Playing ancient music by Mozart and Beethoven he hates. Now, his parents have arranged for him to audition for the prestigious school and have bought him a brand-new, very itchy suit. Arriving too early, his father takes him up to the roof, and they get locked out. Nonetheless, Marvin plays, well, sensationally. He takes note of his father’s admonition that practice and learning are required before one can compose music that “would be magic.” Madsen’s colorful paintings are suitably amusing but not necessarily evocative of mid-20th-century Manhattan. This is more anecdotal than inspirational or motivational and will be of greatest appeal to nostalgic grandparents. (Accompanying CD not heard.)
His A Chorus Line was “One singular sensation.” This is not. (Picture book. 3-6)