PERSONAL: Born in Waterbury, CT. Education: University of Connecticut School of Law (graduated).
CAREER: Writer, biographer, lawyer, and Broadway stage manager. Manager of Broadway shows and performances, including A Few Good Men, A Doll’s House, Master Class, The Iceman Cometh, Tru, and Noises Off.
The Importance of Being Barbra, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2006.
SIDELIGHTS: A writer, biographer, and non-practicing lawyer, Tom Santopietro is a stage manager on Broadway in New York, where he has worked for more than twenty years. In his first book, The Importance of Being Barbra, Santopietro takes a careful, critical look at the career and music of diva Barbra Streisand. Santopietro “evaluates Streisand’s professional, not personal, life,” noted a Kirkus Reviews critic, and added that private particulars are noted “only as they may have shaped her work.” The author divides Streisand’s work into distinct categories, including musical recordings, films, television specials, and concerts, and offers background information, accounts of contemporary events, and critiques of the material under survey. The book emerges as an “opinionated analysis of the Streisand canon, with distinctive views on her many career highs and those more-than-a-few career missteps,” noted Phil Hall on the Web site EDGE Boston. In addition, “Santopietro astutely embeds his subject in cultural context to underscore her zeitgeist appeal,” observed a Publishers Weekly critic, exploring her brash personality, her unabashed ethnicity, and her strong appeal to alternative audiences, including feminists and gays. Rob Lester, on EDGE Boston, commented that for Streisand’s many and varied fans, Santopietro’s work is “a treasure of information and does go through her many achievements without being distracted very much by her personal life. This is not the book for dish and gossip, but it’s chatty and informal at times, while taking the work quite seriously.”
Santopietro “holds strong opinions on all things Streisand that are usually right on,” observed Rosellen Brewer in Library Journal. The Kirkus Reviews writer noted that Santopietro’s “individual critiques are vivid and perceptive,” while the Publishers Weekly contributor commented favorably on the author’s “discerning, nuanced critiques of Streisand’s works.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
California Bookwatch, September, 2006, review of The Importance of Being Barbra.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2006, review of The Importance of Being Barbra, p. 339.
Library Journal, May 15, 2006, Rosellen Brewer, review of The Importance of Being Barbra, p. 103.
Publishers Weekly, March 20, 2006, review of The Importance of Being Barbra, p. 46.
San Diego Union-Tribune, July 14, 2006, Howard Cohen, “A High Road, a Low Road on Streisand,” review of The Importance of Being Barbra.
EDGE Boston, http://www.edgeboston.com/ (July 1, 2006), Rob Lester, review of The Importance of Being Barbra; (July 12, 2006), Phil Hall, review of The Importance of Being Barbra.