Third Girl from the Left: A Memoir

Third Girl from the Left: A Memoir

by Christine Barker
Third Girl from the Left: A Memoir

Third Girl from the Left: A Memoir

by Christine Barker


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As a middle child in a large military family, Christine just wants to dance. Her parents support her dreams, even if they seem beyond their comprehension. At 20, determined and talented, Christine heads across the country from Santa Fe to New York City and, in a made for-Hollywood story, is chosen for the London cast of A Chorus Line. While unwilling to fully cut ties with the traditional life her parents envision for her, she finds a new family with the dancers and more fluid, open characters that fill the theater world in London, and later New York, in the ‘70s & ‘80s. Christine learns that one member of her family is equally at home in her new world: Laughlin, her older brother—divorced, a father, ex-military and a corporate lawyer—also makes his way to New York City, where he meets, and begins to build a life, with rising fashion star Perry Ellis. The two men enjoy a partnership and a financial success that Christine both admires. and envies. She spends much of her free time in their Upper West Side brownstone and Water Island retreat. Soon everyone is talking about a mysterious new disease. As deaths of dancers, theater folk, and eventually friends start to mount, Christine realizes she’s in the middle of an epidemic that neither her traditional family nor the public at large is ready to reckon with. As the AIDS crisis cuts closer and closer, eventually impacting those she loves most, Christine does what she has always done: she strikes her own path. This memoir is an emotional, honest examination of what it takes to succeed in the competitive world of New York theater, how hard-won dreams can be quickly lost, what it means to redefine family, and the devasting toll AIDS exacted on a generation of artists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781953002341
Publisher: Delphinium
Publication date: 03/12/2024
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 384,028
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Christine Barker was raised in a military family and spent her childhood moving across Europe and the United States. By the time she started high school, her father had retired from the US Navy and the family returned to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a place they have called home since the 1880s. She devoted herself to the study of dance and at 20 made the brave decision to move to New York City to pursue a career in dance and theater. She appeared in the productions of Promises, Promises, Seesaw, and No, No Nanette before being cast in the London production of the Tony-award-winning A Chorus Line, which opened at the Royal Drury Lane Theater in 1976. She eventually joined the Broadway cast in New York City. Her theatrical life was shaped by Alvin Ailey, Tommy Tune, and finally Michael Bennett. She was working on Broadway when the AIDS epidemic hit and witnessed the tragedy unfold in the theater wings, fashion houses and finally in the hospitals of New York City. In addition to her theater credits, Christine has appeared in numerous national television commercials. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and currently lives in Connecticut.
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