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Underfoot in Show Business [Hardcover]

Helene Hanff
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch Ltd (23 Oct 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0233972773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0233972770
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 746,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The memoirs of one of the thousands who have crashed Broadway hoping to land glamorous jobs describes her unsuccessful auditions, encounters with different producers and preoccupied agents, and the unique economic system she managed to survive by. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One woman's journey towards showbiz 5 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Helene Hanff is SO much more than the author of 84 Charing Cross Road...
This autobigraphocal account of her trying to write for the stage is redolent of the times in which she wrote, and she comes across as a warm, natural and very funny woman, as well as writing such beautiful prose. The stage's loss is our gain, as this is a real treat, and very inspirational. Read her other books, too - she's just GREAT!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece! 7 Sep 2010
I love Helene Hanff's style. Her books are more of a one-on-one conversation and are easy reads. This book is about her experiences with the theatre. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. The most entertaining (and surprising) part was Helene's comment about Tolkein's "Lord of the Rings" books which she reviewed as an external reader.

A must read!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Playwright describes her early days in New York 31 Jan 2004
By A Customer
This witty, touching memoir tells the story of Helene Hanff's attempt to "crash the theatre". It is as entertaining and charming as her great book, 84 Charing Cross Road.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lesson in the possibilities of humor 17 Feb 2004
By A. Reader - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I stumbled across Helene Hanff in a place no devout reader should ever be--a video store. After watching '84 Charing Cross Road' I was enchanted with Miss Hanff's wit and humor, and needed more. After an arduous search, I found a used copy of 'Underfoot...' and read it in less than 2 days. I even found myself laughing aloud at parts, which greatly disturbed the people sitting next to me. Hanff's ability to laugh at herself and to extract the humor from any situation is addictive. The book begins with a note to the reader: 'Each year, hundreds of stagestruck kids arrive in New York determined to crash the theatre, firmly convinced they're destined to be famous Broadway stars or playwrights. One in a thousand turns out to be Noel Coward. This book is about life among the other 999. By one of them.' From there, Miss Hanff takes the reader on a tour of her adventures and experiences as a struggling playwright in an honest and spirited manner. I was left wishing that my life was as unpredictable and ironic as Miss Hanff's struggle to live her dreams.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broadway misadventures 8 Jan 2004
By R. Rowan - Published on
Helene Hanff published this, her first book, in 1961. She shares stories from her years as a struggling playwright in New York City; her good friend Maxine was a struggling actress. Practically penniless, they still managed to see first-run shows and movies regularly. How they did it is one of many memorable and funny tales.
I couldn't help laughing at the merry-go-round of a Broadway agent shopping a play all over town. Ms. Hanff tells how 'Oklahoma!' was named (she was there). One of her many jobs involved speed-reading long novels; her take on Tolkein is slightly different than Peter Jackson's.
I echo a previous reviewer's thought: this book would make a terrific film. 'Underfoot in Show Business' is a gem, a memoir full of magic and wit. Highly recommended.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly, this is the funniest book you'll ever read. 30 Jun 2000
By Anthony Kline - Published on
I once had to read a bit of this book out to some strangers on a plane who wanted to know why I was laughing out loud and then we had champagne and it was a great flight and Miss Hanff had even more fans. The tears were running down our faces. [ For those of you who have read it already it was the bit about the funeral parlour].
This book, like all of Miss Hanff's works, makes you feel great to be alive.
I've come to love my native city more and more by seeing it through Miss Hanff's eyes.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one is a classic! 16 Jan 2001
By A Customer - Published on
I first heard of this book 20 years ago, in a letter to the editor in Seventeen Magazine. The letterwriter was distantly related to Helene Hanff and was recommending the book. At the time, I was deeply involved in my high school drama program and the title of the book appealed to me. I tried for years to find the book, but it was out of print for a time. When I did finally find it, it was worth the wait. It is laugh-out-loud funny and touching to anyone who has ever been bitten by the drama bug. I was sold on the book the minute I read the preface, which reads in part, "Each year hundreds of of stage-struck kids arrive in New York determined to crash the in a thousand turns out to be Noel Coward. This book is about life among the other 999, by one of them." This book turned me on to all of Helene Hanff's other books, each of which is worthwhile in its own right. However, the best of the bunch is right here. This book should be on every booklover's must have list!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jewel of Humor! 13 April 2000
By C. Moss - Published on
Like most other readers, "84 Charing Cross Road" was my introduction to the works of Helene Hanff, but "Underfoot in Showbusiness" is my favorite book by this author. It is truly the funniest book I have ever read, and it should be made into a movie one day! But this one! You won't regret it!
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