Amazon.com describes the tome as such: "Just about everyone who can hum knows and loves Charles Strouse's music. He composed some of the most successful shows in Broadway history, wrote the film score for Bonnie and Clyde as well as the unforgettable theme song for 'All in the Family,' has been sampled by one of today’s biggest rap stars—Jay-Z, in the Grammy-winning 'Hard Knock Life,' and his songs have been sung by musical greats from Frank Sinatra to Ray Charles to Barbra Streisand."
"Timed to coincide with public celebrations of his 80th birthday, 'Put on a Happy Face' grants an insider's glimpse of Broadway, Hollywood, and beyond. With sparkling wit, Strouse relates the behind-the-curtain stories of his remarkable achievements, and tells fascinating tales about the people he’s worked with along the way, including Butterfly McQueen, Gower Champion, Sammy Davis Jr., Lauren Bacall, Mel Brooks, Clifford Odets, Warren Beatty, Hal Prince and Carol Burnett. Strouse is a musical-theater legend who is as entertaining on the page as his work is on the stage!"
A year-long celebration in honor of the Tony-winning composer's birthday — including concerts, tributes, revivals, world premieres, CD and book releases — has been underway since March. His actual birthday was June 7.
Strouse took home Best Score Tony Awards for Annie (with lyricist Martin Charnin) and Applause (with Lee Adams). Other musicals include Bye Bye Birdie, "It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman!", Bring Back Birdie, Annie Warbucks, Golden Boy, A Broadway Musical, I and Albert, Charlie and Algernon, Rags, Dance a Little Closer and All American.
The busy octogenarian will launch a national book tour in July, followed by a trip across the pond for a BBC feature interview and a star-studded tribute concert at the London Palladium. Here is a look at a few of those in attendance at the Monday evening celebration held at Manhattan's The 21 Club:
Photos by Aubrey Reuben