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The Street Where I Live Hardcover – January 1, 1978


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 333 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (January 1, 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039307532X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393075328
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alan Jay Lerner (1918–1986) wrote lyrics to Brigadoon, Love Life, Paint Your Wagon, My Fair Lady, Gigi, and Camelot, among others. He was the author of The Musical Theatre: A Celebration.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From AudioFile

A pure delight. Lerner, a librettist, and his partner, composer Fritz Loewe, were giants of the American musical theater. Together they were responsible for such Broadway hits as BRIGADOON, PAINT YOUR WAGON, MY FAIR LADY, GIGI and CAMELOT. David Case's reading captures Lerner's understated brilliance, wit and sophistication, and provides insight into how much hard work it took to make it all look easy. The listener is transported into a sadly bygone era of magic and grace when giants like Moss Hart, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison ruled the stage. These are cruder times, full of coarser fare, but this audio will leave you humming. "Oh, wouldn't it be lover-ly." M.D.B. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
Highly recommended to any Broadway or movie musical fans.
Patricia Roberts
I found the book an easy book to pick up and read, intelligently written and entertaining, with nary a lag or uninteresting stretch from start to finish.
R.Wallace
Mr. Lerner also discusses his own life with great candor--and even greater wit.
Marsha Currie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Kenrick (jbk@corcoran.com) on April 8, 1998
Format: Paperback
For anyone who loves Broadway or Hollywood musicals, this book is pure magic. Alan Jay Lerner tells how he came to create his finest works, infusing the text with his signature wit and fascinating insight into human nature. Some of the show business giants of the 50's and 60's make appearances here, and Lerner shares marvelous anecdotes about all of them. MY FAIR LADY, CAMELOT, GIGI -- so many stars, so many songs, so many wonderful stories to tell. The result is a delightfully entertaining read, one that is both funny and filled with the author's love of his life's work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marsha Currie on March 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Alan J. Lerner/and his collaborations with Fritz Lowe and Burton Lane are miracles of the 20th century. The circumstances of their coming together in an artistic and social mileux that called for--no yearned for that kind of musical theater--is a story in itself.
Mr. Lerner talks eloquently about these collaborators-and others (some not so succesful), and gives us complete and insightful discussions about the shows for which he has written the lyrics--"just" productions like "My Fair Lady," "Gigi," "Camelot," and others perhaps not as well known.
Mr. Lerner also discusses his own life with great candor--and even greater wit.
This book is an absolute must-have for those interested in The American Musical Theater! I have given it several times as a gift.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a witty (if occasionally slaphappy), literate, and very readable (difficult to put down) account of the making of three musicals. I doubt, however, that persons not especially interested in the theatre will want to read this. Note also that this is not a conventional autobiography like, say, Richard Rodgers's "Musical Stages": it concerns the circumstances of the author's life only peripherally.
Also recommended: Craig Zadan's "Sondheim & Company" and, for musicians, Jeff Burns's "Pentatonic Scales for the Jazz Rock Keyboardist".
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
Yeah, well I gave it as a gift once too. Then I read the gift and learned that it wasn't the gift I intended. Sorry if that sounds garbled, but the long and short of it is: this isn't the book Alan Jay Lerner originally published. Much of that (great) book, including some of its very best parts, has been extracted. The thing that really gets me, though, is that this paperback version's inside flap claims it is "unabridged"! HOW can they get away with this?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allen Smalling TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had high expectations when first I picked up THE STREET WHERE I LIVE, lyricist Alan Jay Lerner's autobiography of his peak creative years, when he and composer Frederick (Fritz) Loewe gave the world the musicals MY FAIR LADY and CAMELOT, and the movie musical GIGI (MGM, 1958). Those expectations were gloriously met. Like its author, THE STREET WHERE I LIVE is witty, chatty, compulsively readable and just a joy. Not all autobiographies and even fewer "as told to" life stories are entertaining; this one is pretty much the gold standard for what such a book should have. You will learn something about the creative process these two talents enjoyed, and even more about the backgrounds of these great shows' creations, as well as the other talents who aided in their creation. I strongly recommend this book to anyone curious about 20th-Century musical theater or that elusive concept, "American Songbook," to which Lerner and Loewe contributed so much.

Used copies of this book are not hard to find, leaving the reader funds to hear for him/herself what all the fuss was about:

My Fair Lady;
Gigi (DVD);
Camelot.

Note: Only about 250 pages of this well-written memoir consists of Lerner's text. Most of the rest is given over to the lyrics (words only) of all the songs from the three shows above.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
Unlike many theater or Hollywood figures who write their own life stories, Alan Jay Lerner can actually organize and clearly articulate the events of his life! Even if you are not a lover of the Broadway theater or Hollywood, I recommend that you get the book purely for the pleasure of reading his prose! I have been searching for this book ever since I read a library edition of it years ago. I am more than overjoyed that they have finally reprinted it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 9, 1998
Format: Paperback
Alan Jay Lerner has written a funny, fascinating, charming memoir of his biggest successes (My Fair Lady, Gigi, and Camelot). Full of insight, wit, and memorable anecdotes, this book is about as close as you can come to recapturing the lost world of Broadway as a place brimming with vitality and talent. You will certainly enjoy it if you care about the subject matter at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As many reviewers have already said this witty wonderful book is not a traditonal biography and mainly covers the making of 3 musicals. It is page turning enjoyment.

It is what I think of as a 'happy' book - meaning his writing and descriptions emphasize humor and good nature toward the inevitable set backs, craziness and stress faced in tackling these projects and life in general.

I appreciate this because I find often it is rare in books about creative types who are so often self-destructive. Alan Lerner may or may not have also been self-destructive in real life, I don't know not having read much about him, but his attitude of humor in this book is refreshing and enjoyable.

So if you have read too many books about dark figures bent on self destruction such as Carson McCullers, Dorothy Parker, John Barrymore, the Fitzgeralds, Louise Brooks etc etc then it is nice to have a change of pace.

If you like this, would highly recommend Mister Abbott by George Abbott - also a broadway director, producer and writer and also written in similar style, amusing, introspective, interesting.
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