Funny Woman: The Life and Times of Fanny Brice

Barbara W. Grossman, Author Indiana University Press $29.95 (287p) ISBN 978-0-253-32653-9
Brice (1891-1951), best known as havoc-raising Baby Snooks to millions of radio fans in the last 14 years of her 40-year career, is portrayed in Grossman's entertaining, scrupulously documented study as an indefatigably versatile comedienne who owed her success to facility in adpating to new media; to her self-deprecating, often brash humor; to a superb mimetic gift; and to an ear for Yiddish and other dialects drawn from her New York ghetto and Coney Island childhood years. The author, board member of the American Repertory Theatre in Boston, contends that while legends--part fact, part fiction--of Brice's rise to fame from burlesque to Ziegfield Follies and Shubert and Belasco stardom were fostered both by her family and by Brice herself, it was talent and determination that won her a place as a major comic in a male-dominated field. However, neither talent, determination nor legend-building sufficed to fulfill Brice's dream of being recognized as a dramatic actress. Photos not seen by PW. Jewish Book Club selection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-253-20762-3
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