- Copertina rigida: 1360 pagine
- Editore: Routledge (7 agosto 2006)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0415938538
- ISBN-13: 978-0415938532
- Peso di spedizione: 2 Kg
Vaudeville, Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America, 2 volumes (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 7 ago 2006
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Written by the winners of the Theatre Museum of New York's 2011 award for Excellence in the Preservation of Theatre History!
"Whether you start from the beginning and read it straight through, or use to look up an artist you found on a recording, you’ll find this book a great resource. It’s a tribute to the hard work and passion of the author. Highly recommended!" - Steve Ramm, "Anything Phonographic," In The Groove Magazine
"Two decades in the making, this ambitious resource is unique for its scope, details, and illustrations. Cullen and his coauthors cover the full range of the subject, including contemporary variety entertainers and performance artists...It is destined to become a standard." - CHOICE
“A readable and entertaining text. … within the covers of both volumes are many delights (and some terrifically offbeat listings) and much pleasure. … Certainly no reference work to date is comparable to the exhaustive, two-volume effort by Frank Cullen. … Truly the riches of this extraordinary work are numerous, the entertainment factor sizeable, and the lack of pretentiousness welcomed.” - Professor Emeritis Don B. Wilmeth, Theatre Survey, Fall 2007
“Bottom Line: Whether it's used as a starting point for research or a fascinating glimpse into our theatrical history, this resource deserves top billing. Highly recommended for large reference as well as performing arts and popular culture collections.” - Carolyn Mulac, Library Journal, 2007
“[F]or sheer scope, scale and ambition nothing holds a candle to Vaudeville, Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America by Frank Cullen, Florence Hackman & Donald McNeilly… the book surpasses the previous authoritative work on the subject…an appreciation (beyond usual scholarly perspectives) for what precisely makes certain performers successful with audiences…it is the ultimate cornucopia for show business fanatics.” - Trav S. D., The American Theatre, March 2007
“All that you could ever want to know about vaudeville is contained in a monumental two-volume work, Vaudeville Old and New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers. It surpasses anything previously written about the American equivalent of British music hall and will stand as the major reference work on the subject for many years to come… fine writing evinces some deft and delicate touches. The extensive knowledge and deep love of vaudeville by the author, Frank Cullen [working with Florence Hackman and Donald McNeilly], shine through in each of these tomes' 1,300 magnificent pages.” - Richard Anthony Baker, The Stage (UK), February 2007
"[S]ubstantially researched and well written." - College & Research Libraries
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Anyone interested in the ups and downs of the performing arts will find these two volumes so fascinating they'll have a difficult time putting them down. I highly recommend this encyclopedia.
Frank Cullen LOVES Vaudeville in all it's forms, whether it's the baggy pants comics of burlesque, the "specialty acts" like strongman or eccentric dancers who graced the stages of New York and around the circuits in the 1920s, or the singers who went on to make some of the most popular records of their day. This passion is obvious in the recent publication of the huge two-volume 1300-page compilation Vaudeville Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America (Routledge). Now in his 70s, Cullen saw his first Laurel & Hardy film at the age of nine and was hooked. (Yes, Laurel and Hardy both appeared on the vaudeville stage early in their careers and Cullen devotes six pages to them.). He started reading and watching and listening in his high school years and had a brief acting career as well. In the mid-1980s he formed the American Vaudeville Museum in CT and began publishing the quarterly Vaudeville Times (which I mentioned here last year). Now relocated to New Mexico, Cullen has put his energies into this fascinating book. The peak years for "Vaudeville" were 1905-1925, with over 2,000 theaters around the US. As many as 50,000 performers were in the business during that period. Obviously, not all are in the book but a good mix of the known and the "lesser known" are here. Record collectors will recognize many of them. There are the recording Bakers (Belle, Josephine and Phil) as well as the Smiths (Mamie, Bessie and Kate). Other recording artists covered in much detail include, Eddie Cantor, Sissle & Blake and Moran & Mack. The performers are listed alphabetical from A (Abbott a& Costello) to Z (Zetts Weekly, a rival to Variety, published in 1921). There are sections devoted to each of the "circuits" and the impresarios as well. Photos of the performers and sheet music covers are on many pages. In fact, you'll find a lot of performers who you've only known from sheet music covers. The very handy Bibliography and a 30-page Index, make the book even more useful. Whether you start from the beginning and read it straight through, or use to look up an artist you found on a recording, you'll find this book a great resource. It's a tribute to the hard work and passion of the author. Highly recommended!
Steve Ramm "Anything Phonographic"
Given its scope, there are entries about entertainers whose names will mean nothing to the average British reader. But that is more than offset by the comprehensiveness the authors bring to all they touch. It is fascinating, for instance, to get an American take on British artistes who became big stars in the U.S., the likes of Vesta Victoria and Alice Lloyd. We learn more about such top-liners as Al Jolson and Danny Kaye and find the answers to all manner of questions. What was so special about Fanny Brice? What brought Sid Caesar's career to a halt? And who knew that the distinguished commentator, Walter Winchell, started out in vaudeville?
The books' essays about burlesque and music hall are as good as you'll likely to get and the fine writing evinces some deft and delicate touches: a description of Beatrice Lillie, for instance, is as "a treasured English tea-rose with thorns" is spot on. The "new" in the title is no false promise. The encyclopedia is bang up-to-date with entries on Britain's Chris Simmons, for example.
The extensive knowledge and deep love of vaudeville by the author, Frank Cullen [working with Florence Hackman and Donald McNeilly], shine through in each of these tomes' 1,300 magnificent pages.
Richard Anthony Baker
Along with the work of Professor Anthony Slide, these tomes by Frank Cullen constitute the most important documentation of this major form of American popular culture. Vaudeville is rapidly being forgotten today as its participants die off and younger audiences cannot even recognize the term. Cullen's work honors the performers and offers invaluable insights into what the experience was like.
The book is well written and, like vaudeville itself, immensely entertaining, whether you are reading about familiar stars such as Al Jolson or the completely forgotten ones such as the great Eddie Leonard. There is nothing to complain about in this effort-- if you want to know all about vaudeville, this is the magnum opus. It is lavishly illustrated and has about it that aura of love and care that comes when a writer is totally engrossed in his subject matter and approaches it with honesty, integrity and admiration.
Of course I have to tell you that I am biased because I'm in the book. I once was in "the show business" in vaudeville and there are only a few of us still alive who made it into the Cullen opus. But those of us who are left can assure you, dear reader, that all those vaudevillians who are encapsulated within would be proud of this book. It costs a good bit but it's got everything you need to know about a subject that once was close to the hearts of so many Americans. What's really fun is watching old movies on Turner, admiring the work of stars such as Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, or Trixie Friganza, and then keeping these volumes by your bed to look up the bios! Of course at my age that passes for high adventure! So, thanks, Frank, and good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are. If you know the meaning of that last phrase you'll love this book. If you don't you should read it anyway.