cover image Playing with Myself

Playing with Myself

Randy Rainbow. St. Martin’s, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-27625-4

In this rollicking debut, comedian Rainbow recounts his coming out—but “more like in the ‘eighteenth-century aristocratic debutante presenting herself to society’ ” kind of way. Growing up in the 1980s in Commack, N.Y., Rainbow adored musical theater, and, by his teenage years, worshipped a new god: Barbra Streisand. Packing his narrative with well-timed zingers, Rainbow recalls chasing his Broadway dreams in Manhattan, juggling a variety of part-time jobs (including as a host at Hooters), and steadily making his way into the performing world. Combining his love of theater and comedy, Rainbow eventually created his blog, The Randy Rainbow Bloggity Blahg-Blahg, where he sharpened his flamboyant comic pieces, playing a “hopefully lovable, part gossip girl... part vapid social media star” version of himself who wound up in such unlikely (fictional) circumstances as dating “homophobic” actor Mel Gibson. As he recounts, his videos garnered him thousands of acolytes, among them Carol Burnett, Rosie O’Donnell, and his idol Streisand—each of whom he writes of with gushing admiration. Though Rainbow’s campy on-screen comedy doesn’t always translate well to the page, his gift for striking a well-honed phrase (“I was in the prime of my twinkdom and was not about to let these gorgeous gams of mine go to waste”) will have readers cackling. Fans are sure to be heartened and tickled by this entertaining account. (Apr.)