Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theater 1850-1970

Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theater 1850-1970

by Leonard Jacobs
     
 

The history of theater in New York is captured in the images of the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. From this valuable archive, author Leonard Jacobs spotlights the evolution of the world’s most storied dramatic community. Reaching from the 1850s to the recent past, these images give insight into the passion

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Overview

The history of theater in New York is captured in the images of the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. From this valuable archive, author Leonard Jacobs spotlights the evolution of the world’s most storied dramatic community. Reaching from the 1850s to the recent past, these images give insight into the passion and character of the theaters, the performers, and the performances that have made Broadway the iconic cultural capital of theater. With hundreds of images, many never before published, Historic Photos of Broadway provides an intriguing look behind the scenes at the Booths and the Barrymores and every subject from the Alvin Theatre to the Ziegfeld Follies, giving those passionate about theater an irreplaceable glimpse into its humble beginnings and rise to greatness over the last two centuries.

Editorial Reviews

americantheaterweb.com
Historic Photos of Broadway: New York Theater 1850-1970 from Turner Publishing, a truly beautiful book that chronicles over a century of events on the Great White Way using some 240 photographs from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts' Billy Rose Theatre Division. It's truly a marvelous book and many of the photographs are ones that I've never had the privilege of seeing before. For example, there's a swell rehearsal shot of Ethel Merman dancing with a couple of the toreadorables at the top of act two in Gypsy. Just two pages before this, there's a photograph of the original company of Long Day's Journey Into Night . . . The book does not simply bring the world of Broadway with photographs of the stars who have graced the stage. Included in "Historic Photos" are glimpses of interiors and exteriors of theaters, and even some photographs of promotional materials, for example, the program from the final performance of the record-setting Peg O' My Heart) . . . . I want to say that the text in "Historic Photos" is amazingly comprehensive. Each short paragraph beside the pictures does an exceptional job of not only contextualizing the photo, but also delivers a particularly deft mini-history of the theater "Historic Photos" is a book that should be on every theater lover's bookshelf. Most likely before it ends up on the shelf, though, you'll savor it in two ways: by both casually flipping through the pages and by reading it cover-to-cover and revisiting 120 years of Broadway history.
—Andy Propst
Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Musicals Online Publication
..the new book is actually quite fascinating, representing a comprehensive visual account of some of the most important people, shows, and theaters in Broadway history. The book has text and captions by Back Stage editor Leonard Jacobs, and incorporates images from the theater collection and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. One of the book's many charms lies in affording us the chance to stare in wistful wonder at the exteriors and interiors of some charming old theaters that no longer exist, such as the gorgeous Casino Theater (torn down to accommodate a growing garment district) and the lovely Morosco (razed to make room for the hideous Marriott Marquis and the characterless Marquis Theater). What makes the book compelling, at least to me, is that, rather than focusing on the well known stars and shows of recent memory, Jacobs chooses to skew his coverage toward older and lesser known people, places, and productions . . . Of course, the Jacobs book also features photos of such iconic musical performers as Mary Martin and Ethel Merman, and of such seminal musical works as Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, and Fiddler on the Roof.
—Chris Caggiano
A Curtain Up Review
There's something unbeatably alluring about great black and white photos. If you don't believe me, take a look at Turner Publishing Company's handsome new illustrated history of the New York Theater from 1850 to 1970. Here's one book you can safely judge by its cover. Make that plural, for both its front and back cover feature images from the Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts. And in between those covers, there's a feast of handsomely reproduced photographs of great theatrical venues (too many of them gone from our the cityscape), along with the plays and musicals seen on their stages, and the thespians bringing them to life . . . With each season bringing its share of revivals of classic plays, theater buffs will be especially interested in seeing the original cast members of shows such as Waiting for Godot, Man for All Seasons, South Pacific and Pal Joey. And while most readers will have to jump to at least the 1960s for their "Oh, yea, I saw that production" moments, with this volume they can at least take an armchair journey back to the times they missed.
—Elyse Sommer
Talk Entertainment
I'm sure that anyone connected with the theatre will have similar responses to many of the stories and images shown in this amazing, remarkable and hard-to-put-down book. To quote Mr. Jacobs - "It's ogle-worthy!"
—Oscar E. Moore
broadwayworld.com
From long-forgotten tragedians & comedians, to the lavish musicals of the Gershwins, Cole Porter & Rodgers & Hammerstein, to the dramas of O'Neill, Miller, Inge, Williams & Albee, Broadway shines through glorious, large-format photographs, many published for the first time in this volume.
Playbill
Leonard Jacobs was formerly the National Theatre Editor of Back Stage and is currently the first-string critic for the New York Press and author of the blog The Clyde Fitch Report. He is a Tony voter and a member of the Drama Desk and American Theatre Critics Association; chairs the New York Innovative Theatre Awards; adjudicates scripts for the New York International Fringe Festival and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and teaches at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596523623
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
06/15/2008
Series:
Historic Photos Series
Pages:
254
Product dimensions:
10.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.10(d)

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