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.
Publisher: The Lyons Press