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Tony Pastor Presents
     

Tony Pastor Presents

by Susan Kattwinkel
 

Tony Pastor, a vaudeville performer and manager, was known as the Dean of Vaudeville. He is credited with cleaning up the bawdy variety shows of the mid 1800s, resulting in their appeal to women and the middle classes. He opened his first vaudeville house in 1865 and continued to present shows at a series of New York houses until shortly before his death in 1908.

Overview

Tony Pastor, a vaudeville performer and manager, was known as the Dean of Vaudeville. He is credited with cleaning up the bawdy variety shows of the mid 1800s, resulting in their appeal to women and the middle classes. He opened his first vaudeville house in 1865 and continued to present shows at a series of New York houses until shortly before his death in 1908. He achieved his greatest hits with parodies of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, but he also presented parodies, or burlesques, of Shakespearean productions and those of contemporary authors, as well as melodramatic works in the popular style of the day. The plays, or afterpieces, and the function they served for both the audience and the theatre, are examined within the context of the culture and conditions under which the plays were written. Thirteen plays are included, each preceded by a production history. Issues addressed in each play are analyzed, such as prevailing societal attitudes, including those toward class and gender. Discourse on the parodies includes an examination of the original play, detailing the reasons why particular sections were chosen to parody.

This examination of Tony Pastor's scripts will appeal to theatre scholars, especially those interested in vaudeville, since until recently the plays were mostly kept in private collections. Students of American culture, particularly culture at the turn of the century, will find valuable material in the plays as they shed light on the daily life of the lower and middle classes, and subsequently on the issues that concerned them. Since the plays were formerly not widely available, this study, including the texts of the original scripts, provides a valuable resource to scholars as well as to those with a general interest in the theatre and vaudeville.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Pastor (c.1832-1908) worked as a circus performer and toured with a number of variety shows before ultimately gaining fame for cleaning up the bawdier variety shows of the era and producing respectable--and extremely popular--vaudeville shows at New York City theaters over the course of his 45-year career. In this volume, Kattwinkel (theater, College of Charleston, South Carolina) presents the scripts of 13 of Pastor's vaudeville afterpieces, with a brief introduction to each and substantial script notes. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313304590
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/30/1998
Series:
Contributions in Drama and Theatre Studies Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

Meet the Author

SUSAN KATTWINKEL is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. /e

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