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Broadway Tails: Heartfelt Stories of Rescued Dogs Who Became Showbiz Superstarsby William Berloni
Synopses & Reviews
William Berloni and his company have spent the past thirty years training dogs and cats for Broadway productions, primarily using animals rescued from shelters. As a high schooler in 1976, Berloni had rescued an Airedale mixed breed only hours before it was slated for euthanasia. The terrier was cast as Sandy in the musical Annie and performed there for seven years. The bulldog currently starring in Legally Blonde and her bulldog understudy were rescued from Newark and from North Carolina.
Berloni's story is completely engaging as he talks about being the first to train actors to work with animals on stage, his love for mutts over purebreds, as well as the four-acre animal retirement compound where he lives. With photos throughout this delightful book, we learn details about how his dogs are trained, how they react to Broadway life, and his own personal rise to fame. An enchanting writer (whose first book, Doga, has sold more than 350,000 copies for Chronicle) with an inspiring story for animal lovers, theatergoers, and anyone who loved books such as Marley & Me.
"Animal stage trainer Berloni has been rescuing animals and putting them on the boards for more than 30 years, and his career memoir brings with it some expected charms-lovable, heartbreaking animal stories; giddy tales of Broadway success; and showbiz backbiting. His story begins compellingly when, as a 19-year-old intern on the set of the original 1975 production of Annie, he was charged with finding and coaching the dog that would play Sandy; miraculously, 'the dog nobody wanted... that had been run over by a truck just twelve days earlier' played Sandy for seven years. Berloni's at his best when describing his methods or recounting theatre gossip; the chapter about the 1995 Annie revival, and the abrupt dismissal of 11-year-old star Joanna Pacitti (who won a contest), is related with real ire (Berloni was friends with Pacitti and her family). Unfortunately, much else is dully dutiful; neither Berloni nor his co-writer Hanrahan bring a particularly strong voice to the typical business of memoir. Since it focuses on his remarkable craft, it should interest animal lovers and fans of Broadway. B&w photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
A longtime animal trainer for show business/behavior consultant to the Humane Society of New York (to which a portion of the book's proceeds is being donated), entertainingly relates tales about his training of animals for the stage. E.g., Berloni trained dogs rescued from shelters for starring roles in the long-running Broadway play Annie and the more recent Legally Blond the Musical. The book includes a foreword by actress Bernadette Peters, and b&w photos of human and animal actors. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Berloni and his company have spent the past 30 years training dogs and cats for Broadway productions, primarily using animals rescued from shelters. "Broadway Tails" shows how the animals are trained and how they react to Broadway life. Illustrated.
Bill Berloni was a nineteen-year-old theater apprentice when he was offered his big break: the chance to act professionally if he could find and train a dog to appear in the original production of the Broadway hit Annie. Defying the odds, Bill rescued a dog from a local shelter and, together, they redefined what animal performers could do.
In Broadway Tails, Bill tells the true stories of throw-away” animals who came back to co-star with some of entertainments biggest names, from Richard Burton to Sarah Jessica Parker.
Here youll meet:
Often funny, and always touching, these and other stories demonstrate the extraordinary things rescued animals can do.
About the Author
Bill Berloni has provided animals trained to meet the demands of live performances—from Broadway to ballet—as well as film, television, and commercial work for more than thirty years. His pioneering humane training techniques have won multiple awards. Bill is widely recognized as an expert in animal behavior and for his dedication to rescue work. In addition to his work as a trainer, Bill is currently behavior consultant to the Humane Society of New York. He has a BFA in theatre, and is an actor and a published author (Sandy: Autobiography of a Star, Doga).
Jim Hanrahan is a writer and Bill Berlonis brother-in-law. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, daughter, and a house full of animals.
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