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Arts & Entertainment

Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Biographer Brian Kellow says it’s not show business without Ethel Merman


Ethel Merman asks for "something with sizzle" in a film clip shown during Brian Kellow's presentation.

Click here to watch Brian Kellow and show-stopping clips of Ethel Merman on BUniverse.

Brian Kellow says he never wanted to do anything but write, and he combined this desire with a passion for the Broadway musical at Opera News, where he writes the column “On the Beat.” He worked with American soprano Eileen Farrell on his first book, Can’t Help Singing: The Life of Eileen Farrell. He later created the position of part-time features editor for himself at Opera News so that he would have more time to write books. His new book is Ethel Merman: A Life. Hetalks about Merman’s life, about her show-stopping performance ofGeorge Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm,” and about her final show, JerryHerman’s Hello, Dolly! which was written for her. “It’s beenmy favorite thing I’ve ever worked on,” Kellow says. He reads a sectionof the book and answers questions from the audience about his plans andabout today’s Broadway musicals.

December 5, 2007, 5:30 p.m.
George Sherman Union Metcalf Hall

About the speaker:
Brian Kellow is the features editor and a columnist at Opera News. His has written the biographies Can’t Help Singing: The Life of Eileen Farrell (1999), about the celebrated opera and concert singer; The Bennetts: An Acting Family (2004), about stage actor Richard Bennett and his daughters, actresses Constance, Barbara, and Joan; and Ethel Merman: A Life (2007). His articles have appeared in such publications as Opera, BBC Music Magazine, Playbill, and Newsday. He has donated his papers to the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University.

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