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... My Lifelong Struggle for Integrity in the Arts and Entertainment Business

 Kaufmann Publishing, paperback, 134 pages.

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Four Volume Poetry Gift Set - your choice of 4 hardcover volumes from the Kaufmann Publishing page on our site

The lively, autobiographical testament in storybook form of a show business career girl in the big city, generously augmented with black and white images of the period beginning in the 1930s. Great personalities, glamor, exhausting work and pitfalls as experienced by a Christian performer, the original Laurie in Oklahoma!, Joan Roberts. Especially memorable are colorful conversational exchanges between Joan and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Life behind the scenes of the legendary musical Oklahoma! can only be described as challlenging for everyone from the financial backers to the writers, from the director to the stage crew ...

Besides recounting her stage and broadcast work Ms. Roberts shares many details from her family life, and highlights from charitable work as well. Joan testifies to all this as a Christian performer speaking from the perspective of faith, writing intentionally and especially for the sake of young artists who will inevitably face similar challenges now and in the future.  

(Released just before the author's death at age 95 on August 13, 2012.)

[from Wikipedia]  Joan Roberts initially auditioned for the role of Ado Annie in the original Broadway production of Oklahoma! (which eventually went to Celeste Holm), but the show's librettist Oscar Hammerstein cast her as the female lead, Laurey. At the time of her death she was one of four surviving cast members of the original 1943 opening night production of Oklahoma! and the only one who played a principal role (Celeste Holm passed away several weeks earlier, also at age 95), along with George S. Irving, Marc Platt, and Bambi Linn. Roberts subsequently starred as Sara Longstreet on Broadway in the musical High Button Shoes.

Recently, Ms. Roberts conducted workshops on singing and voice projection. In 2011 she was honored by the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts while attending their replica production of the original Oklahoma!

She was in retirement for many years on Long Island, New York, when she appeared as Heidi Schiller in the 2001 Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Follies. Over the years she was seen in documentaries about Oscar Hammerstein II, George Abbott and in the film Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There.

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