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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Rest of the Story

It's no secret that I work in theatre, so when I found out Arthur Laurents was coming out with a sequel to his first memoir, Original Story By, I picked up this one.  The Rest of the Story fills in some gaps and tells some new tales.

Arthur Laurents penned many movies (including The Way We Were), plays, and musicals in collaboration with some famous names (Gypsy, anyone?).  In this tale, Laurents picks up where he left off in 2000.  His partner of 52 years died in 2006 leaving him bereft, and he directed the revivals of his two most famous works, Gypsy and West Side Story, since then.  He completed this memoir just weeks before he passed on.

Most of this work is devoted to Laurents waxing nostalgic on his relationship with Tom.  They met when they were both young, beautiful, and carefree, and they spent five glorious decades together.  Even when discussing his political past (he was "informed" on during the HUAC McCarthy hearings) and his work, it all revolves around and relates back to his relationship with Tom.  I understand that he was grieving for his lost love until his dying day. 

If you are a fan of musical theatre and are looking for good dish, I would suggest you hit up Original Story By first, then come to this work.  If you, however, love love and can't get enough of those relatoinships that last a lifetime through good times and bad, come to this memoir first.  Laurents is honest and heartfelt; he lays his love on the table for all to see.  It's heatbreaking and slightly voyeuristic, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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