Some Enchanted Evenings : The Glittering Life and Times of Mary Martin
Overview - Mary Martin was one of the greatest stars of her day. Growing up in Texas, she was married early to Benjamin Hagman and gave birth to her first child, Larry Hagman. She was divorced even more quickly. Martin left little Larry with her parents and took off for Hollywood. Read more...
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More About Some Enchanted Evenings by David Kaufman
Mary Martin was one of the greatest stars of her day. Growing up in Texas, she was married early to Benjamin Hagman and gave birth to her first child, Larry Hagman. She was divorced even more quickly. Martin left little Larry with her parents and took off for Hollywood. She didn't make a dent in the movie industry and was lured to New York where she found herself auditioning for Cole Porter and his new show "Leave It to Me ." After she sang the bawdy "My Heart Belongs to Daddy," she ended up on the cover of Life magazine. Six years later, she became the Toast of Broadway when she starred in "South Pacific." After that, she flew as "Peter Pan," yodeled in "The Sound of Music," took "Hello, Dolly " on the road and shared a four-poster with Robert Preston in "I Do I Do ." Her personal life was just as interesting: In NYC, she met and married Richard Halliday, a closeted upper-class homosexual who adored her, Broadway and interior decorating (though probably not in that order). They were a powerful twosome. There were rumors about Martin, too, being in a lesbian relationship with both Janet Gaynor and Jean Arthur. Peopled with legends like Ethel Merman, Ezio Pinza, Noel Coward and a starry cast of thousands, David Kaufman's "Some Enchanted Evenings" is the delectable story of the one and only Mary Martin, a woman who described herself as a chicken farmer from Texas only to become Peter Pan and capture America's heart.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Theater critic Kaufman (Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door) continues in his theatrical biography niche with arguably the most exhaustively researched treatise ever compiled regarding Broadway and Hollywood legend Mary Martin, best known for originating roles in South Pacific and The Sound of Music. Kaufman’s tome begins in Martin’s teens, as he struggles to find the truth of Martin’s marriage to Ben Hagman in conflicting accounts from Martin’s family, friends, and notoriously unreliable autobiography. The sense of uncertainty persists as Kaufman drops hints about Martin’s widely rumored romantic relationship with close friend and fellow actor Janet Gaynor, noting her early choices in queer-oriented reading materials and the duo’s latter-day intimate friendship. At times, Kaufman’s propensity for denseness and frequent asides into backstage networking make his prose too dry for any but the most scholarly of theatre buffs. Still, insights into the changing nature of Broadway over the course of Martin’s lengthy career make this an intriguing read for those interested in charting such histories, and Martin stands as an essential touchstone for those who came after. (July)