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Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 30 set 2016

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37 di 39 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle The book I've waited 40 years to read! 28 ottobre 2016
Di Paul Wesolowski - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
I have provided research and reference material to the authors of several books about the Marx Brothers. Many of them were good books in their day. But all now suffer in comparison to Robert Bader’s incredible new book. [Full disclosure: I am proud to have provided research for this book as well.]

The problem with other Marx Bros. books is that the authors had a life to live or a publisher’s deadline to meet. Ultimately they had to settle for “good,” or “better than the others,” but it was still a compromise.

But Mr. Bader is unique. He has spent several decades doing research on the Marxes. Along the way he published a wonderful anthology of Groucho’s writings, and then a revised and expanded edition a few years later. (To say nothing of the several incredible Marx-related DVD sets he produced, and the commentary on the recent Paramount collection Blu-ray release.)

He could have written a great biography several years ago, but instead he continued digging. He has not only dug deeper than any of the rest of us, he has dug deeper than most of us thought was even possible. He has dug deep enough to find the Marx Brothers in four vaudeville acts that we never knew about previously!

He is the first person to make sense of the conflicting versions of stories told by Kyle Crichton (their authorized biographer), by Groucho and Harpo in their autobiographies, and by Groucho on various TV shows and in his interviews with later biographers. He has tirelessly dug through contemporary news accounts to finally prove which elements of each story are correct: when and where and how these legendary stories actually took place. It’s not his opinion of which version is funniest or most probable, but the verifiable underlying truth.

He has used genealogical research to determine the actual names of fellow performers who were given pseudonyms in early biographies. By doing so he has also been able to determine the intriguing stories of what happened to these cast mates after they left the Marx act. [Harpo’s relationship with Katie Fleming spans several chapters and could have been a book on its own.] He has also been able to identify these cast mates in dozens of previously unpublished photos from Groucho’s and Harpo’s scrapbooks. And by figuring out who exactly was who, he discovered another Nightingale who was never previously identified.

Along the journey Mr. Bader has uncovered so many other fascinating stories. As only one example, a poor joke told by Groucho on an obscure TV show has led to an incredible tragic story about their cousin Lou Shean that was never part of the Marxian lore.
Mr. Bader began organizing his research into a book perhaps eight years ago. No, he isn’t a slow typist. While writing the book he continued digging, until he tied up as many loose ends as possible. Only when he had answered every question, after numerous drafts, after filling all of the holes in the timeline, did he look for a publisher. It would be nice to think that any of us could have written this book if we’d had enough time, but the truth is that Mr. Bader had the tenacity nobody else has demonstrated, as well as the understanding of how the disjointed pieces actually fit together.

Robert Bader intended to write a definitive biography of the Marx Brothers on stage. The end result is the definitive biography of the Marx Brothers, the definitive history of vaudeville as a business, and a fascinating book that I have waited 40 years to read.
12 di 12 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle The Greatest Non-Fiction Book Ever Written. Probably. 6 gennaio 2017
Di Craig Gustafson - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage
I’m not saying that this is the greatest non-fiction book ever written. I haven’t read every non-fiction book ever written, so the comparison would be a false one. “Four of the Three Musketeers – The Marx Brothers on Stage” is just the greatest non-fiction book I’ve ever read.

If you’ve already read “Harpo Speaks,” “Groucho and Me,” “Growing Up with Chico” and all of the other dozen or so books on the Marx Brothers, this one is the book that lines up all the rest and makes them behave. All the legendary Marx Brothers stories are either debunked or verified. If verified, names, dates and places are detailed.

The years of climbing the Mount Everest of vaudeville? There’s a list of all performances. With notations such as the time the fifteen year old Groucho appeared on a vaudeville bill with the twenty-five year old juggler, W.C. Fields. Or the ocean cruise where entertainment was provided by the Four Marx Brothers and Clark & McCullough (my other favorites). Or the stretch of performance dates missed by Chico because of a Mystery Illness – and in a day when performers’ illnesses were specified by the trade papers, speculation is that the womanizing Chico had been caught by a father/brother/husband and that he was recovering from a bullet wound.

Harpo’s sojourn as a whorehouse piano player forced to drive a getaway carriage for burglars? The entire court case is detailed. The four sympathetic prostitutes who gave Harpo train fare home? All named. MY GOD, THIS BOOK IS FABULOUS.

I tracked down one of the theaters where the Four Marx Brothers first appeared after Chico joined the act in 1912. Not a theater anymore, but the building is still there and it’s located around the corner from a theater where I’ve been performing/directing. History!

Three details, and I’ll shut up.

From the list of vaudeville dates:
“May 14-16, 1914 – Galesburg, Illinois – Gaiety Theatre
The Four Marx Brothers got their nicknames from comic Art Fisher at a backstage poker game.”

A Marx By Any Other Name…
The legend is, as with Groucho dropping his onstage German accent in 1917, that Harpo changed his name from Adolph to Arthur due to anti-German WWI sentiment. Not true. Bader reveals that Adolph became Arthur as far back as 1909. Why? Because during the ten years the Marx family lived in Chicago & LaGrange, also based in Chicago was an attorney named Adolph Marks, who specialized in suing vaudeville actors and was roundly despised by same.

Zeppo’s Escape.
IRVING THALBERG: Do you think three of you should be paid the same as four?
GROUCHO: Without Zeppo we’re worth twice as much.
I always thought that was a little harsh, even for Groucho; but Bader reveals why the Brothers were touchy about the subject: after leaving Paramount, there was a changing of the guard, and the new executives wanted the Marx Brothers back. Negotiations broke down because Paramount wouldn’t pay the same money for three that they paid for four. And they were far from the only objectors. Yep. The Marx Brothers had trouble getting work without Zeppo. And considering the way they treated him (also detailed in this amazing tome), the only possible conclusion is, “Karma’s a bitch.”

If you’re a Marx Brothers fan; if you’re a student of vaudeville (and all of early 20th century entertainment); or you just want to read the Greatest Non-Fiction Book Ever Written… sorry, I said I wouldn’t do that. Sorry… BUY THIS BOOK.
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Essential, genuinely essential book for all true Marxians 31 gennaio 2017
Di Douglas Keith McEwan - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
I've been a fanatical Marx Brothers fan for almost 50 years. I've interviewed Groucho on radio. I've read EVERY darn book written by or about them. I thought I knew it all. But this amazing book told me many, man things I did not know. He sweeps away the lies and great-but-untrue stories that fill all the other books, and get down to as much of the truth as could ever be discovered a century after its events. The book is FASCINATING. I can not recommend it TOO highly. Great book.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle I enjoyed this book so much 29 novembre 2016
Di Arnold L. Fogel - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
I enjoyed this book so much, and did NOT want it to end. For the fan of the Marx Brothers, you can buy this book without any fear of it being repetitious or doubling over the same old stories and information you’ve acquired from other books about the team or the individual “players”. Brand-new research, color, history, etc., all pertaining to the years BEFORE the brothers hit the movies big-time. Finally, you can learn in tremendous detail the way in which the Marx Brothers morphed throughout the formative years. In so do doing, they mirrored the tremendous power and scope of the Vaudeville industry during the early years of the 20th Century, and the reader will gain enormous insight into the ways of the Vaudeville culture that so dominated the early years of the last century. Notable too, is the fact that the book includes as near-complete an itinerary of the Brothers' individual stage appearances in a very detailed listing as is possible. Season-by-season information on players, plot lines, locales, theater names, dates, etc..... Incredible coverage.
Informative, entertaining, fascinating, educational, revealing, unique, ......FUN! This book, by Robert S. Bader, called "FOUR OF THE THE THREE MUSKETEERS" - THE MARX BROTHERS ON STAGE." Was years in the writing and compilation, and worth the wait. So glad this book exists. Wonderful to discover as well, that after a lifetime of enraptured study, there is still so much to learn about the subjects that I love. Richly illustrated, including many pictures that have previously been unseen by the general public, and also including many contemporary newspaper ads for the Brothers’ various stage appearances.
5.0 su 5 stelle Extraordinary research and very well written. If you're a Marx Bros. fan you owe it to yourself to read this! 29 aprile 2017
Di audioguy1 - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
I thought I knew everything there was to know about the Marx Brothers, but this book shed so much new light on a phase of their career that until now has been shrouded in mystery. Even though the author has a tendency to insert himself (and, in particular, his opinions about the works of other authors he clearly does not respect), it's very well written and engaging. I devoured it from cover to cover, enjoying every page. I was sorry when it ended!