[KINDLE] Ù Ghost Light | By ✓ Frank Rich

Ghost Light By Frank Rich,

  • Title: Ghost Light
  • Author: Frank Rich
  • ISBN: 9780375758249
  • Page: 307
  • Format: Paperback
  • There is a superstition that if an emptied theater is ever left completely dark, a ghost will take up residence To prevent this, a single ghost light is left burning at center stage after the audience and all of the actors and musicians have gone home Frank Rich s eloquent and moving boyhood memoir reveals how theater itself became a ghost light and a beacon of securitThere is a superstition that if an emptied theater is ever left completely dark, a ghost will take up residence To prevent this, a single ghost light is left burning at center stage after the audience and all of the actors and musicians have gone home Frank Rich s eloquent and moving boyhood memoir reveals how theater itself became a ghost light and a beacon of security for a child finding his way in a tumultuous world Rich grew up in the small townish Washington, D.C of the 1950s and early 60s, a place where conformity seemed the key to happiness for a young boy who always felt different When Rich was seven years old, his parents separated at a time when divorce was still tantamount to scandal and thereafter he and his younger sister were labeled children from a broken home Bouncing from school to school and increasingly lonely, Rich became terrified of the dark and the uncertainty of his future But there was one thing in his life that made him sublimely happy the Broadway theater.Rich s parents were avid theatergoers, and in happier times they would listen to the brand new recordings of South Pacific, Damn Yankees, and The Pajama Game over and over in their living room When his mother s remarriage brought about turbulent changes, Rich took refuge in these same records, re creating the shows in his imagination, scene by scene He started collecting Playbills, studied fanatically the theater listings in The New York Times and Variety, and cut out ads to create his own miniature marquees He never imagined that one day he would be the Times s chief theater critic.Eventually Rich found a second home at Wash ington s National Theatre, where as a teenager he was a ticket taker and was introduced not only to the backstage magic he had dreamed of for so long but to a real life cast of charismatic and eccentric players who would become his mentors and friends With humor and eloquence, Rich tells the triumphant story of how the aspirations of a stagestruck young boy became a lifeline, propelling him toward the itinerant family of theater, whose romantic denizens welcomed him into the colorful fringes of Broadway during its last glamorous era.Every once in a while, a grand spectacle comes along that introduces its audiences to characters and scenes that will resound in their memories long after the curtain has gone down Ghost Light, Frank Rich s beautifully crafted childhood memoir, is just such an event.
    Ghost Light There is a superstition that if an emptied theater is ever left completely dark a ghost will take up residence To prevent this a single ghost light is left burning at center stage after the audience

    One thought on “Ghost Light”

    1. An excellent memoir of youthful obsession, in this case with the theater, that laid the groundwork for one of the country s best known theater critics I always admired those who found their passion early and created a work life that encompassed that passion, from literature to medicine, art to even such passions as farming I wish I had found a similar passion The memoir is well written and engaging, and I think anyone who lived through the sixties and had any interest in theater will find it wor [...]

    2. THE book for theatre lovers Ghost Light has a special meaning for me for I worked at The National Theatre in Washington about the same time Rich did In my teen years I worked as an usher, ticket taker, stage doorman, and office boy Rich and I were about the same age Our paths just missed crossing Rich absolutely captures the spirit of a young boy being introduced to the stage and being captured at once by its magic It was love at first sight and look where it carried him I too remember saving ti [...]

    3. A fantastic memoir from the man who was the foremost theatre critic in the country for many years When I picked up the book I was expecting a recounting of THOSE years and all of his theatre experiences during that time, when Frank Rich was the chief theatre critic at the New York Times However, what I got instead was a beautiful and touching look at the positive power and influence that live theatre can have on the formation of a child growing from boyhood to young adulthood You get a candid an [...]

    4. This book is a MUST for any theater fan Rich, the former theater critic of the NY TIMES, details how theater literally saved his life during a rather unhappy childhood His excitement and gratitude to the practioners of the art form are palpable, and his writing is impeccable.

    5. Loved this book Very sensitive and eloquent and one can see he had a true and abiding love of American Theatre from an incredibly young age Obviously incredibly knowledgeable Like others I was expecting tales of his Butcher of Broadway years, but it is the story of his teenage years and he holds nothing back Loved it.

    6. This book has been on my shelf since 2000, the year it came out I have no idea why it took me so long to get to it I m glad I did Not quite Act One, but filled with the same love of the theatre and a good story of growing up.

    7. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, especially as a theatre person living in DC for the summer 3.5 stars would be appropriate here, but I couldn t give it a 4 One does not need to be involved with theatre to understand or appreciate Rich s story, it is beautiful and tragic no matter who you are.Two reservations I have 1 Rich occasionally comes across as a racist though he notes the numerous marches and rallies he attended as a child, he uses the term Negro throughout the book This may not have be [...]

    8. First I read his memoir Ghost Light A Memoir New York Random House, 2000 , which I have to admit bored me to tears and had me wondering if indeed it was the same person who wrote the book and the columns Sometimes authors can carry their voice across different formats like Vidal, shifting seamlessly from editorial, essay to memoir and fiction, but Rich is not one of those writers His forte is definitely the short op ed piece where his writing remains concise and pithy So when I picked up the rat [...]

    9. This is an excellent memoir Frank Rich, renowned theater critic, recounts his stormy childhood Growing up in the 1950s, he was a child of divorce when divorce was rare and frowned upon His mother remarries, and he and his sister endure the abuse their stepfather is already heaping on his own children But, Frank discovers the escapism of theater at an early age, and while his stepfather is abusive, he also encourages Frank s love of theater and provides show tickets As Frank grows into his teens, [...]

    10. This is a beautifully written book I had no prior knowledge of Frank Rich, I m not a theatre person, and I wasn t alive during the 50 s my parents weren t even alive then, so I ve never been told personal stories about it Yet, I felt like I HAD been there with every turn of the page I was there, in the theatre with Frank, in the 1950 s The real world faded away as I became engrossed in this, and I understood his passion for theatre It was the same as my obsession with novels had been It was our [...]

    11. This memoir of former NYT theatre critic Frank Rich reads like a novel than a memoir It traces his childhood living on the wrong side of town in Washington DC through his first year of at Harvard, telling how his tumultuous home life led him to escape to the theatre The first chapters of his elementary years were a little too sappy for my taste maybe I identified too much with the little boy s crazed hunger for the theatre , but I kept reading and eventually found myself engrossed in the story [...]

    12. This was well written one would expect no less from a New York Times writer but I constantly asked myself, Who cares And that would be the one problem with this memoir Why is anyone interested in the memoir of a theatre critic Has he made a name for himself in any other way I did find the development of his theatre interest quite interesting, but his family life less so He managed to know many of the important figures of Broadway during his early days, but the book NEVER tells us how he went on [...]

    13. A year ago I declared a memoir moratorium because I strongly felt I wasn t learning much reading most of them But when my oldest niece recommended Ghost Light 2000 by Frank Rich I decided to temporarily suspend my pledge An additional factor convinced me to lift the freeze Rich has been a favorite columnist for years.Aside from the supple writing and ample humor The persistent though never consummated daily struggle of her huge breasts to escape the captivity of her tight bathing suit was drama [...]

    14. I ll give it the extra half star here It s a beautiful, magical memoir of theatergoing Sure, there s family life and suburban angst and even some real socio political stuff and of course the inherent drama of being a teenager at any time but this book is really about the theater And the magic of going to, being a part of, and otherwise experiencing it If you like theater, you need to read this book You ll leave it feeling warm and fuzzy and happy inside If you don t like theater, steer clear Any [...]

    15. Wonderfully evocative story of the young years of Frank Rich, who grew up to be the Butcher of Broadway What I like best about this story is the careful description of young Frank s joy in finding theatre as an art form and his changing understanding of the artistic content of particular shows as he has life experiences that open his eyes to elements of a story that were previously opaque to him The best example is Damn Yankees, where the very young Frank is thrilled by the baseball story and th [...]

    16. There are comparisons to be made between this book and Moss Hart s Act I Reading Act I was an important part of Frank Rich s childhood and clearly shaped his writing of his memoir Rich found escape from an unhappy childhood in the theater No matter what else might be causing him misery his parents divorce, his moody and abusive stepfather, his moody and depressed long distance girlfriend if he could attend the theater, he could escape it all and find happiness He details shows not so much the pl [...]

    17. Rich was born eight years before me He grew up on the East Coast, I grew up in the Midwest I saw many of the same shows he did, the difference being he saw them in tryouts or on Broadway, while I saw them about 15 years later as bus truck tours and community theater, where I was often playing in the pit orchestra So overall I enjoyed this memoir because of our shared memories of the shows, and the wonderful nature of theater folk Our home lives were very different however I never experienced the [...]

    18. I was struck by how life moved so fast, almost cruelly, on Broadway Fiorello had fled the Broadhurst to make way for Sail Away, as if it had never existed I studied each such metamorphosis with contradictory emotions of excitement and loss With their new marquees and posters and glass encased displays of fresh photos, the theaters promised a teeming bounty of surprises But there remained not a shred of their previous tenants, who were gone forever and mourned by no one, perhaps, except me When s [...]

    19. This was a memoir, he wrote about his time from 8 to 18 It was well written but mostly about what theater shows he had seen It was a little redundant It was read for a book group and i think it will lend itself to a good discussion It was interesting to me since he grew up in the Washington, DC area the same time i was in the Northern Virginia area and I knew all the places he was talking about

    20. This is a fascinating autobiography about his youth, his family, and falling in love with the theatre Rich became the theatre critic for the New York Times, a position he held for about 13 years He also writes about living through his parents divorce and subsequent life with step parents, a rarity in the late 40s and 50s A good read for anybody, but would be great for teens who love and participate in the theatre.

    21. A Memoir that will be loved by anyone who grew up during this era and who loves the theater Rich s ability to bring to live his experiences growing up in a blended family who loved the theater and went to as many shows as they could get to was amazing to me He was in a theater when Martin Luther King was murdered as was I although mine was a rehearsal Every time he described his theater experience I got a little jealous.

    22. I loved this book one of the best memoirs I ve ever read He does a lovely job of weaving the perspective he had as he lived the experience with the analysis of reflection and historical perspective He also frames this story around the theater, but it never feels forced the ending unfolds quite organically, without a bow being tied I also recognized his sense of obsession and searching, and I m sure most people could.

    23. Enjoyable read I usually read fiction, so it took me awhile to pick this one up Once I did, though, I quickly got caught up in the story of Frank Rich s childhood and growing up I used to do theater and dreamed of success on the stage, so this brought back so many memories for me of the magic of theater It s amazing what a love affair he had with theater from so early in his life Very well written.

    24. Ghost Light is a memoir of Washington, DC in the 1950 s and 1960 s as much as it is a memoir of Broadway theatre of the era Frank Rich writes from the perspective of youth with adult hindsight on disturbing issues of his youth his step father, Joel, was abusive DC was and still remains segregated that floats this memoir on quiet river of history Beautiful and haunting, Rich s childhood obsession with theatre led to a successful career as NY Times chief theatre critic.

    25. I read this when it came out and to this day, I rank it at the top of my list when it comes to memoirs Of course, as a theater lover and former theater journalist author , I AM biased toward Rich s theater penchant But to read this story, so beautifully and exquisitely told, of how theater became a form of salvation for Rich while growing up as well as a salutary escape from a unhappy family life, deeply moved me Bravo

    26. I liked the time period of the 50 s 60 s I liked picturing Washington as a city to live in instead of just politics I appreciated his early and continued passion for the theater I thought it bogged down and was a bit slow for awhile but I wanted to finish it and would have liked about later years.

    27. I would give this book 3.5 stars if I knew how to If you have any interest in theatre at all, you will love it Longtime D.C residents may also have a keen interest.Don t be fooled by the title, there is nothing ghosty or supernatural about this book Ghost Light is a reference to a theatre term.

    28. A pleasant read, he writes very well but his obsession with the theater is presented a little forcefully than I would have liked Does anybody really need to know the name of every show on Broadway on a given night in the 60 s But, his writing style swims along so nicely that I still wanted to continue reading to the end of the book.

    29. I enjoyed every minute of this memoir I had no idea who Frank Rich was until I read this book and now I have a good sense of this man I love his clever, smooth writing style and wish he had chronicled his later adult life This book moves slowly but in a pleasant, easy sort of way I have read a good number of memoirs, but this is by far my favorite.

    30. Escaping to the theater from an unhappy home, Rich tells his story so well it reads like a novel As a theater lover I relished his descriptions of seeing plays and obsessing over musical theater recordings Unlike a novel it does not have much of an ending I wish he had continued into the development of his career as a theater critic.

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