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Too Much Is Not Enough by Andrew Rannells

Too Much Is Not Enough


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Andrew Rannells, on your first book!

by Andrew Rannells

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Quick take

From bad auditions to a Broadway debut, a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Girls star Andrew Rannells.


When Andrew Rannells arrived in New York City from Omaha in 1997, he, like many, saw the city as a chance to break free. To start over. To transform the fiercely ambitious but sexually confused teenager he saw in the mirror into the Broadway leading man of his dreams.

In Too Much Is Not Enough, Rannells takes us on the journey of a twentysomething hungry to experience everything: new friends, wild nights, great art, standing ovations. And at the heart of his hunger lies a powerful drive to reconcile the boy he was and the man he might have been with the man he wants to be. As Rannells reveals how he merged these Andrews into the one who made his Broadway debut at 26, he also shares stories from his path to the Great White Way, from horrible auditions and behind-the-curtain romances to the exhilaration of landing his first gig in Hairspray and the heartbreaking death of his father at the height of his ascent. Along the way, Rannells learns that you never really leave your past—or your family—behind; that the most painful, and perversely motivating, jobs are the ones you almost get; and that sometimes the most unforgettable nights are marked not by the hot clubs you danced at, but by the recap over diner food after.

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Too Much Is Not Enough

About Andrew Rannells

(The Honest Version)

This is maybe not going to be what you think it’s going to be.

When I have to provide a bio for a Playbill or a television show announcement or the jacket of the book you’re holding in your hand, I’m always struck by how tidy it looks. Each sentence contains an achievement that I’m proud of, something that for years I had only dreamed could be possible. I’ve worked hard, and I’m happy to say that I have achieved much of what I set out to do when I first moved to New York in 1997. (I mean, I would still like to have a weekly brunch date with Stephen Sondheim, but it’s always good to have goals.)

But my biography is also deceiving. It’s all highs and no lows, with bullet points of good stuff and none of the details of the in-between, and it starts with me starring in my third Broadway show, when I was thirty-two. In reality, my bio should include sentences like:

Prior to being cast in The Book of Mormon, Andrew left his family in Omaha, Nebraska, missed them terribly, and often wondered if he had made the right choice to leave his home.


After starring in Hairspray on Broadway as the third Link Larkin, Andrew faced months of unemployment and thought he would never work again. During that time, he loved to stress eat, spiraled into regularly anxiety attacks, and had to take a job as a temp at Ernst & Young. He still couldn’t tell you what he was supposed to be doing at that job, because he mostly hid in either the men’s bathroom or the break room.

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Why I love it

I’m fairly convinced that I’m actually soulmates with Andrew Rannells. There’s the fact that we both moved to New York City from the Midwest to follow our dreams: me from the Chicago suburbs to be a writer, and he from Omaha to be a Broadway star. We also spent much of our twenties broke, wandering downtown Manhattan, and kissing all the wrong boys. I mean, I think that makes us soulmates, right?

While most celebrity memoirs are roundups of notable career highlights, in Too Much is Not Enough, the Girls and Book of Mormon star never actually talks about his time on Girls or Book of Mormon. Instead, this book is his pre-stardom take on all the things that got him to where he is now, from his complicated relationship with his dad, to being a Catholic altar boy, to navigating the off-off-off-Broadway theater scene. (Rannells’s hot tip: “If you walk into a theater and there is free wine, consider it a preemptive apology, or at least a distraction. And always drink it.”)

Rannells is sweet, hysterical, and smart, but you already knew that. Reading his memoir is worth it because he nails what it feels like when you're navigating that nagging twenty-something question: “Am I good enough?” Spoiler alert: You are, he was, and you know what? You might even find that Rannells is your soulmate, too. Don’t worry, I’m willing to share.

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Member ratings (363)

  • Anissa P.

    Allston, MA

    The 2011 Tony Awards were my first Tony’s & that’s when I saw AR for the first time. I re-fell in love with him while reading this. As an actor, his raw story was everything I needed to read. Loved.

  • Alexis B.

    Syracuse, NY

    As a former theater kid, and a forever theater kid at heart, I loved reading about Andrew’s journey onto the Broadway stage! And as a twenty-something following my own path, his journey was inspiring!

  • Marjorie L.

    Grand Prairie, TX

    Andrew Rannells is a dynamic presence, whether on stage or on page. Somehow he managed to make me laugh, cry, then laugh again within the span of three chapters. Loved this, and have a renewed of him!

  • Mikey G.

    Jamestown, NY

    Such a fun and fast read. Andrew really knows how to use humor during some dark times. A great memoir full of wisdom, especially for the gay community. A page-turner, laughing from start to finish.

  • Stephanie F.

    Warrington, PA

    I LOVE Andrew Rannells and I was thrilled when I found he wrote a book. It’s fabulous and laugh out loud funny. It’s a must read. Only down side: it’s too short and I wanted more stories!

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