Animal stage trainer Berloni has been rescuing animals and putting them on the boards for more than 30 years, and his career memoir brings with it some expected charms-lovable, heartbreaking animal stories; giddy tales of Broadway success; and showbiz backbiting. His story begins compellingly when, as a 19-year-old intern on the set of the original 1975 production of Annie, he was charged with finding and coaching the dog that would play Sandy; miraculously, "the dog nobody wanted... that had been run over by a truck just twelve days earlier" played Sandy for seven years. Berloni's at his best when describing his methods or recounting theatre gossip; the chapter about the 1995 Annie revival, and the abrupt dismissal of 11-year-old star Joanna Pacitti (who won a contest), is related with real ire (Berloni was friends with Pacitti and her family). Unfortunately, much else is dully dutiful; neither Berloni nor his co-writer Hanrahan bring a particularly strong voice to the typical business of memoir. Since it focuses on his remarkable craft, it should interest animal lovers and fans of Broadway. B&w photos.
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“[Bill] can do anything you ask, has enormous love for and control of the animals, is kind to them and to humans. He is the best. The one and only.”—Mike Nichols
“Bill Berloni is a master of his profession. His experience and patience are welcome in any rehearsal room.” —Susan Stroman
Both animal and theater lovers are likely to be amused and moved by Berloni’s memoir of his work over three decades as the pre-eminent animal trainer for Broadway shows. Berloni put his love of animals to professional use when he was asked to find the right dog to play Sandy in the original production of Annie. Berloni does an excellent job of explaining how he did his job, even with animals as seemingly intractable as cats, pigs, and rats. His repeated rescues of abused animals are touching, and there’s no shortage of funny stories. —Publisher's Weekly
This was a gift for my daughter. I borrowed after she read this. Such a wonderful and heartwarming book. Exceeded expectations. Great gift.Published 16 days ago by Sheri
If you want to know animals are trained to be on stage and the backstage poop of what goes on, this book has it all. Read morePublished 17 months ago by F.J.Martins Jr
Berloni's ability to train animals to perform on stage is remarkable. Whenever I see him on TV I feel so privileged to know his background. Read morePublished 21 months ago by J. H. Welch
I gave this book to our niece who is a dog trainer and she just loved it. We saw the author at a book store giving a lecture with a Sandy at his side. Read morePublished on April 26, 2013 by Barbara A. Braun