I Was Better Last Night

Penguin Random House Audio. Mar. 2022. 12:32 hrs. ISBN 9780593551004. $22.50. MEMOIR
The only thing better than reading Fierstein’s memoir is listening to him read it. Yes, the four-time Tony Award–winning actor and playwright speaks with his trademark gravelly rasp, but it’s an endearing and expressive growl. And no one delivers sardonic one-liners like he can. Commenting on his 1995 comedy album, he says, “I have a few hundred unsold CDs in my basement. They make great coasters, or wired up and hung as a mobile, they scare critters from vegetable gardens.” Fierstein’s theater career began in his teens when he was cast in Andy Warhol’s only play, Pork. When he wrote and starred in Torch Song Trilogy in 1983, few thought a gay play running four hours would succeed. But it won him two Tony Awards and ran for three years. Fierstein has numerous tales of writing Broadway hits Kinky Boots, Newsies, and La Cage Aux Folles and starring in Hairspray and Fiddler on the Roof. He also deals candidly with his alcoholism and a past suicide attempt. At the end of this 12.5-hour unabridged reading, listeners will clamor for more.
VERDICT A big-hearted, hilarious, life-affirming memoir of Fierstein’s gay activism and life in the theater.
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