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Stars of the American Musical Theater in Historic Photographs
     

Stars of the American Musical Theater in Historic Photographs

by Stanley Appelbaum, James Camner
 

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Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers — the names of composers of great American musicals are household words. But many of the stars who introduced these songwriters' classic triumphs and whose names were on everybody's lips a few decades ago have been all but forgotten. Now, with this book, you can take a fascinating journey into the days when Lillian

Overview

Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers — the names of composers of great American musicals are household words. But many of the stars who introduced these songwriters' classic triumphs and whose names were on everybody's lips a few decades ago have been all but forgotten. Now, with this book, you can take a fascinating journey into the days when Lillian Russell and Frank Daniels, or Marilyn Miller and William Gaxton, were as celebrated as the superstars of television and film are today.
This volume is the most complete collection of its kind. Its 361 vivid portraits of over 400 star entertainers of the past cover the whole spectrum of nearly a century of American musical theater. The portraits, many by the finest celebrity photographers of their day, and many of which are autographed presentation copies, are complemented by full captions exceptionally rich with information; together, they constitute a history of the American musical, its stars and supporting casts, its remembered and forgotten successes.
Brimming with life and personality, these portraits capture yesterday's stars in their most characteristic moods and postures. Along with scores of charming views of personalities as well-known on the screen as on the stage — Bob Hope, W. C. Fields, Ann Sothern, Fred Astaire, to name but a few — are shots of hundreds of performers who have been virtually or entirely forgotten because they were stars only — or at least primarily —"of the stage" Emma Trentini, Donald Brian, Nora Bayes, Fritzi Scheff, Lew Fields, Vernon and Irene Castle, Edith Day, Eugene and Willie Howard, Mary Ellis, Dennis King, Elsie Janis, Ray Middleton, Jack Whiting, Todd Duncan, and many, many more.
More than just a stunning portrait gallery, this book will challenge the imaginations and knowledge of musical-theater and nostalgia buffs. Among its hundreds of facts and photos are such special treats as shots — grouped together — of the original stars of Show Boat, Oklahoma! and South Pacific; portraits of composers who also performed in their own shows, like George M. Cohan, Eubie Blake, and Irving Berlin; fascinating views of today's television and film stars in their youth, along with information on their early, often little-known stage appearances; and notes on the first performances of song classics like "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now," "Night and Day," and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."
Unfortunately, in this age of electronics and breathless change, the days of vaudeville, operetta, revue, and early musical comedy have been too quickly forgotten. This book makes them a joy to remember. Besides being an invaluable aid to theatrical scholars, it will delight musical-theater enthusiasts and anyone wishing to revive the excitement of a fascinating segment of American entertainment history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486149301
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
03/12/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
170
File size:
44 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Read an Excerpt

Stars of the AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATER In Historic Photographs

361 Portraits from the 1860s to 1950


By STANLEY APPELBAUM, James Comner

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1981 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14930-1



INTRODUCTION

Almost everyone knows of America's great contribution to the musical theater, and many people know the names of the great composers who made it such a unique American form—Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Richard Rodgers among them. But the same immortality has eluded many of the great stars for whom the musicals were created. There wouldn't have been a Sally without Marilyn Miller, or a Naughty Marietta without Emma Trentini, but both stars are in danger of being forgotten. Today, who remembers Fay Templeton, Peter F. Dailey, William Gaxton or the Brox Sisters?

These performers will finally receive their due in this collection of the most important stars of the American musical theater, surely the most complete ever assembled. The photos, many of them autographed for presentation, are full of the charm of these performers: Lillian Russell, Adele Astaire and the Dolly Sisters are just four of the stars whose photographs capture something of the personality we read about in their reviews.

Through the book (organized roughly by theme within chronology) we can trace developments and trends on the American musical stage. And this volume also sets the record straight on many counts, dispelling myths and popular misconceptions. Some readers will be surprised to see that the original Joe in Show Boat was not Paul Robeson, as Jerome Kern had wanted, but Jules Bledsoe, a great performer in his own right.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Stars of the AMERICAN MUSICAL THEATER In Historic Photographs by STANLEY APPELBAUM, James Comner. Copyright © 1981 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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