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Considering Doris Day


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Tom Santopietro has worked for the past 20 years in the New York theatre as a manager of over two dozen Broadway shows. He is the author of The Importance of Being Barbra, a look at the career of Barbra Streisand.


Following his witty overview of Streisand's career in The Importance of Being Barbra (2005), Santopietro turns to Doris Day and delivers a sharp-eyed, carefully researched career evaluation that also convincingly rebukes many modern misconceptions about her pristine screen persona and status as a singer. With the exception of That Touch of Mink ("a film nearly devoid of wit or humor"), most of Day's onscreen characters were far from eternal virgins; they were proto-feminist icons ranging from successful career women with healthy libidos to smart can-do housewives. Santopietro's sassy assessment of Day's 39 films illuminate her best (Love Me or Leave Me, Pajama Game, Thrill of It All), analyzes her worst (Tunnel of Love, Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?) and offers some surprises (he defends the KKK melodrama Storm Warning, but is more reserved about Pillow Talk). Delving into her prodigious recording career (from 1948 to 1967, she released more than 600 songs), Santopietro appraises her songs almost track-by-track with such full-blooded enthusiasm that most readers will be racing to iTunes to download her catalogue. While not intended as a full biography, there is enough biographical detail as it concerns her career choices to create a vibrant portrait of the artist and the woman. B&w photos. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"* "There is something thrilling about Doris Day rediscovered, especially when the archaeologist of this American treasure--- Mr. Santopietro--- is so right-on-the-money." Liz Smith"

Santopietro follows his recent biography of Barbra Streisand, The Importance of Being Barbra, with this analysis of the work of Doris Day, a performer about whom little has been published. Writing with the same cheek that he used in the Streisand book (though more toned down), he begins by discussing why we should care about Day, the "biggest female box office attraction in Hollywood history," who triumphed in movies, radio, the recording industry, and television. Her persona "embodied the all encompassing post-World War II American will to happiness," he writes. He then analyzes her work by category: films (e.g., Pillow Talk; The Thrill of It All), recordings (e.g., "Sentimental Journey"; "Qu? Ser , Ser "), television (e.g., The Doris Day Show), and her work with animals. Santopietro proves himself a serious and insightful critic. One caveat: fans of the celebrity biography genre may be disappointed by the lack of material on Day's personal life. Still, highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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