American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama 1869-1914

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OUP USA, Mar 10, 1994 - Performing Arts - 793 pages
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This three-volume work will accomplish for the American non-musical theatre what Bordman's American Musical Theatre did for our song-and-dance entertainments: it chronicles, in order by opening, every Broadway comedy and drama, show by show, season by season, offering a plot synopsis, principal players, and important statistics. Scenery and costumes are described where they might be of interest, and comments of the plays' contemporary critics are quoted. In many instances, extended excerpts from the play are included to give the reader a fuller understanding of its nuances and its period dialogue. Also included, and worked chronologically into the text, are details about cheap-priced, cliff-hanging melodramas, such as Bertha, the Sewing Machine Girl and His Sister's Shame, which were among America's most popular diversions in theatres catering to blue-collar playgoers until silent films drew away their audiences. Examples of shows produced and designed for other than New York are included. This volume deals with the great expansion of American theatre after the Civil War, the careers of such prominent actors and actresses as Edwin Booth, Mrs. Fiske, the Drew and Barrymore families, the first important American playwrights like Clyde Fitch, producers like David Belasco, and the influence of foreign plays and players. This stage history, besides giving a sense of each production, touches on the literary worth of the plays, provides brief biographies of major figures, and sets all of this against the economic and social backgrounds of the time. Readers will close the book feeling they, like their parents and grandparents, have sat through performances of these shows of another era.

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American theatre: a chronicle of comedy and drama, 1914-1930

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This essential reference work for theater students and scholars is comprised of a season-by-season chronicle of the golden age of American theater. Densely printed in double columns with bold-faced ... Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Gerald Bordman is the author of many books, including American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle, Jerome Kern: His Life and Music, and Days to be Happy, Years to be Sad: The Life and Music of Vincent Youmans.

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