Rannells, Andrew. “Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood”, Crown Archetype, 2019.
Andrew Rannells is an actor, singer, and performer who is best known for originating the role of Elder Price in “The Book of Mormon” and for playing Elijah Krantz in HBO’s Girls. A Tony and Drama Desk nominee and Grammy winner, he has also played Hedwig in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”, King George III in “Hamilton”, Whizzer in “Falsettos”, and recently starred in the 2018 Broadway revival of “The Boys in The Band”. This is his first book and it is a
Sincere as well as a hilarious coming-of-age memoir of a Midwestern boy who survived bad auditions, bad relationships, and some really bad highlights as he goes after his dreams in New York City. Rannells left Nebraska for New York City in 1997 and he, like so many others, saw the city as a chance to break free and to start over. He was fiercely ambitious and sexually confused. He takes us on the journey of a twentysomething experiencing everything New York has to offer: new friends, wild nights, great art, standing ovations. He has a powerful drive to reconcile the boy he was when he left Omaha with the man he really wants to be.
He shares the drama of failed auditions and behind-the-curtain romances, of losing his father at the height of his struggle, and the exhilaration of making his Broadway debut in “Hairspray” when he was twenty-six. Along the way, he learns that one can never really leave his/ her past or family behind and that the most painful, and perversely motivating, jobs are the ones you almost get; and sometimes the best nights are those with friends.
We feel Rannells strong personality behind every word he writes. His humor is frank and he engages readers with self-effacing honesty as he writes about his life’s great expectations and mistakes. We feel his insecurities and we have all been there in varying degrees. He is guided by ambition and love and struggle and success. Rannells’ story is one of becoming—- not just as an actor but also as a writer.
This isn’t the typical celebrity memoir of brags and name-dropping but rather a more universal story about pursuing dreams. It is also a story about coming to terms with who you are and the need for self-acceptance. He also shares coming to terms with his sexuality, and the dysfunctions that come with coming out and his first sexual encounters and romantic relationships.
It is Rannells’ enthusiasm and excitement that makes this such a fun read. He does go into detail about the plays he has been in yet what we might think would cater to a theater audience is actually for all of us.
Rannells’ point is that for every success we see, there have been accompanying disappointments and challenges.
P.S. So Andrew, if you ever want to become the Andy to my Amos, just let me know.