American theatre : a chronicle of comedy and drama, 1869-1914 / Gerald Bordman.

Bordman, Gerald Martin.
New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.
793 pages ; 25 cm
Theater -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Theater -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
American drama -- 19th century -- Stories, plots, etc.
American drama -- 20th century -- Stories, plots, etc.
Place of Publication:
United States New York (State) New York.
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 a 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 places 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 the shows of another era.
Includes indexes.
Local notes:
Penn Libraries Lee Collection copy has dust jacket. Handwritten letter in envelope laid in, from author to Dr. Lee.
Athenaeum copy: Gift of Irvin R. Glazer, 1997.
Penn Provenance:
Lee, Ruth Sara (donor) (Lee Collection copy)
Penn Chronology:
Charles Lee Collection (University of Pennsylvania)
0195037642 (acid-free paper)
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