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From Traveling Show to Vaudeville: Theatrical Spectacle in America, 1830-1910

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From Traveling Show to Vaudeville: Theatrical Spectacle in America, 1830-1910 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Before phonographs and moving pictures, live performances dominated American popular entertainment. Carnivals, circuses, dioramas, magicians, mechanical marvels, musicians, and theatrical troupes--all visited rural fair-grounds, small-town opera houses, and big-city palaces around the country, giving millions of people an escape from their everyday lives for a dime or a quarter. In From Traveling Show to Vaudeville, Robert M. Lewis has assembled a remarkable collection of nineteenth-and early twentieth-century primary sources--many not published since their first appearance--that document America's age of theatrical spectacle. In eight parts, Lewis explores, in turn, dime museums, minstrelsy, circuses, melodramas, burlesque shows, Wild West shows, amusement parks, and vaudeville. Included in this indispensable resource are biographies, programs, ephemera produced by theatrical entrepreneurs to lure audiences to their shows, photographs, scripts, and song lyrics as well as newspaper accounts, reviews, and interviews with such figures as P. T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill Cody. Lewis also gives us reminiscences about and reactions to various shows by members of audiences, including such prominent writers as Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, and O. Henry.

Book News Annotation:

To augment the many anthologies of plays, minstrel monologues, and comic dialogues, Lewis (American history, U. of Birmingham, Britain) collects primary sources on how showmen fashioned their presentations and how spectators responded to them. Much criticism has been based on such documents, but the documents themselves have not been readily available to students and scholars of historical popular culture.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Before phonographs and moving pictures, live performances dominated American popular entertainment. Carnivals, circuses, dioramas, magicians, mechanical marvels, musicians, and theatrical troupes — all visited rural fairgrounds, small-town opera houses, and big-city palaces around the country, giving millions of people an escape from their everyday lives for a dime or a quarter. In From Traveling Show to Vaudeville, Robert M. Lewis has assembled a remarkable collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century primary sources that document America's age of theatrical spectacle. In eight parts, Lewis explores, in turn, dime museums, minstrelsy, circuses, melodramas, burlesque shows, Wild West shows, amusement parks, and vaudeville.

Included in this compendium are biographies, programs, ephemera produced by theatrical entrepreneurs to lure audiences to their shows, photographs, scripts, and song lyrics as well as newspaper accounts, reviews, and interviews with such figures as P. T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill Cody. Lewis also gives us reminiscences about and reactions to various shows by members of audiences, including such prominent writers as Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, O. Henry, and Maxim Gorky. Each section also includes a concise introduction that places the genre of spectacle into its historical and cultural context and suggests major interpretive themes. The book closes with a bibliographic essay that identifies relevant scholarly works.

Many of the pieces collected here have not been published since their first appearance, making From Traveling Show to Vaudeville an indispensable resource for historians of popular culture, theater, and nineteenth-century American society.

Synopsis:

"An eminently useful book... It is an excellent reader for introducing students to cultural history, bringing it alive through primary sources... a panorama of everyday life outside home and work in nineteenth-century America." — Cercles

Synopsis:

Robert M. Lewis has assembled a remarkable collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century primary sources that document America's age of theatrical spectacle. In eight parts, Lewis explores dime museums, minstrelsy, circuses, melodramas, burlesque shows, Wild West shows, amusement parks, and vaudeville.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780801870873
Editor:
Lewis, Robert M.
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Editor:
Lewis, Robert M.
Author:
Shaw, Bernard M.
Location:
Baltimore, Md.
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Performing arts
Subject:
Theater - History & Criticism
Subject:
Performing arts -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Drama -- History and criticism.
Series Volume:
no. 56, etc.
Publication Date:
20030931
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
9.82x6.26x1.22 in. 1.60 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Vaudeville and Burlesque
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

From Traveling Show to Vaudeville: Theatrical Spectacle in America, 1830-1910 New Hardcover
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Product details 400 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801870873 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Before phonographs and moving pictures, live performances dominated American popular entertainment. Carnivals, circuses, dioramas, magicians, mechanical marvels, musicians, and theatrical troupes — all visited rural fairgrounds, small-town opera houses, and big-city palaces around the country, giving millions of people an escape from their everyday lives for a dime or a quarter. In From Traveling Show to Vaudeville, Robert M. Lewis has assembled a remarkable collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century primary sources that document America's age of theatrical spectacle. In eight parts, Lewis explores, in turn, dime museums, minstrelsy, circuses, melodramas, burlesque shows, Wild West shows, amusement parks, and vaudeville.

Included in this compendium are biographies, programs, ephemera produced by theatrical entrepreneurs to lure audiences to their shows, photographs, scripts, and song lyrics as well as newspaper accounts, reviews, and interviews with such figures as P. T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill Cody. Lewis also gives us reminiscences about and reactions to various shows by members of audiences, including such prominent writers as Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, O. Henry, and Maxim Gorky. Each section also includes a concise introduction that places the genre of spectacle into its historical and cultural context and suggests major interpretive themes. The book closes with a bibliographic essay that identifies relevant scholarly works.

Many of the pieces collected here have not been published since their first appearance, making From Traveling Show to Vaudeville an indispensable resource for historians of popular culture, theater, and nineteenth-century American society.

"Synopsis" by , "An eminently useful book... It is an excellent reader for introducing students to cultural history, bringing it alive through primary sources... a panorama of everyday life outside home and work in nineteenth-century America." — Cercles
"Synopsis" by , Robert M. Lewis has assembled a remarkable collection of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century primary sources that document America's age of theatrical spectacle. In eight parts, Lewis explores dime museums, minstrelsy, circuses, melodramas, burlesque shows, Wild West shows, amusement parks, and vaudeville.
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