Stars on Stage: Eileen Darby and Broadway's Golden Age, Photographs 1940-1964by Mary C. Henderson, Eileen Darby
During the golden age of American theater on Broadway, the names of stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, and Ethel Merman were writ large on theater marquees. Playwrights such as Eugene O'Neill, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, and Arthur Miller offered a new play every season. Photographer Eileen Darby came onto the theater scene in 1939 and eschewed the stiff portraits and fixed tableaux that were in vogue. Her style of photographing not only onstage but also backstage and during rehearsals allowed an intimate look at the creative process of theater. Darby photographed more than six hundred shows during her career, and her portfolio has become the definitive photographic record of theatrical history. STARS ON STAGE is the culmination of Darby's career in the theater's golden age and includes dozens of previously unseen pictures of stars such as Lucille Ball, Montgomery Clift, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, and Gregory Peck. As well as the people who created the shows, including Rodgers and Hammerstein, George Abbott, irving Berlin, and Anita Loos. With an overview of the theatrical period by John Lahr and a biographical portrait of Darby and her work by Mary Henderson, STARS ON STAGE is one of the most dynamic books on this most fascinating period of American culture.
Author Biography: John Lahr is the senior theater critic for The New Yorker and the author of 17 books on culture and theater.
Author Biography: Mary C. Henderson is an internationally known expert on American theater and the author of Theater in America.
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- Product dimensions:
- 9.34(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.85(d)
Meet the Author
John Lahr is senior theatre critic for The New Yorker and the author of seventeen books on culture and theater.
Mary C. Henderson is an internationally known scholar and expert on American theater and the author of Theater in America.
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As a theatre buff who grew up in New York in the great Broadway era covered by Stars on Stage, I was quick to buy it when it appeared just days ago. Still, I did not expect to experience, in Eileen Darby's photos of stars on--and surrounding-- the Broadway stage 1940-1964, such immediate and intense nostalgic emotion as I enjoyed. The range is tremendous; from the animated delight in Irving Berlin's face in an unposed close-up of him raptly watching a rehearsal, to Darby's famous full-stage shot of Stanley and Stella embracing as Blanche is led away to an institution. Mary Henderson does a fine job of the accompanying text. As John Lahr, the New Yorker theatre critic,whose dead-on gift in choosing words and descriptive imagery often astonishes me, writes in his introduction, 'Stars have to shine; like photographs, they use light and also create it.The poignancy of theatre is its living moment. Darby's theatrical photographs trap some of that original light and send it down the generations.' In one book many great moments from many classic plays are indeed trapped and passed down. Surely any theatre buff as myself will share my delight in discovering this new offering.