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Forgotten Stars of the Musical Theatre

About the Series

Edited by Kurt G^D^"anzl - the author, among other celebrated works, of The Encyclopedia of Musical Theater - this series of biographies explores the lives of outstanding figures from musical theatre's past. Immensely popular and well-known in their day, these performers and writers have now been largely forgotten. Their stories contain triumph and tragedy, murder and mayhem, bigamy trigamy, lawsuits and sex in high and low places, mixed in with a great deal of humour.

6 Series Titles

Per Page

David Braham The American Offenbach

David Braham: The American Offenbach

1st Edition

By John Franceschina
January 16, 2019

David Braham (1834-1905) was the musical director for the famous vaudeville team of Harrigan and Hart, writing music for many of their comic songs, including The Mulligan Guards, Paddie Duffy's Cart, and many more. His long career as a theatrical composer in New York helped establish a new style of...

Harry B. Smith Dean of American Librettists

Harry B. Smith: Dean of American Librettists

1st Edition

By John Franceschina
August 26, 2016

Harry B. Smith was the most prolific writer of librettos for the American musical theatre in history, with nearly half of his 300 works actually opening in New York City. In addition, Smith was instrumental in adapting and popularizing foreign musicals in America, significantly influencing writing ...

William B. Gill From the Goldfields to Broadway

William B. Gill: From the Goldfields to Broadway

1st Edition

By Kurt Ganzl
August 26, 2016

A colorful, historically accurate biography of William B. Gill, a famous musical-comedy playwright and comedy performer of the late-19th-century who is now mostly forgotten, but who changed the course of American musical theater. Gill began his career as a comedic actor in the coalfields of ...

Lydia Thompson Queen of Burlesque

Lydia Thompson: Queen of Burlesque

1st Edition

By Kurt Ganzl
February 29, 2016

This inaugural volume in the Forgotten Stars of the Musical Theatre series sets Lydia Thompson, queen of burlesque, under the spotlight. The series will attempt to resurrect theatre performers and writers who were famous in their era, yet who have since inexplicably faded from popular memory. ...

Alice May Gilbert & Sullivan's First Prima Donna

Alice May: Gilbert & Sullivan's First Prima Donna

1st Edition

By Adrienne Simpson
January 20, 2016

This biography tells the story of Alice May, a touring prima donna in the nineteenth century who travelled from England to Australia, New Zealand, India and the US, taking part in pioneering performances of the popular light operas of the day. Along the way she took part in many premieres, ...

Leslie Stuart Composer of Florodora

Leslie Stuart: Composer of Florodora

1st Edition

By Andrew Lamb
August 02, 2002

Leslie Stuart (1864-1928) was a British songwriter best remembered as the composer of the hit show, Florodora. He began writing popular songs as a teenager, first for blackface and vaudeville performers, and eventually for more "legitimate" shows and revues. Florodora (1899), written in ...

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