The Book of the Week is “Put On A Happy Face” by Charles Strouse, published in 2008. This is the career memoir of a Broadway composer.
The most famous shows he wrote for were “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Annie.” Strouse claimed credit for “discovering” Sarah Jessica Parker, who played Annie for a year.
Around 1960, “… there were seven major New York City newspapers, and all the critics came to the opening night unlike today when only the New York Times matters and the critics are invited to different preview performances.” This blogger thinks even the Times is fading in importance, due to radical changes in communications technologies– causing society to become more of a meritocracy– a good thing.
Read the book to learn about Strouse’s early-career struggles, his experiences working with various people (such as Sammy Davis, Jr.) and on various shows (such as “It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane… It’s Superman!” the 1966 Broadway musical) into which he put his heart and soul.