Posts Tagged ‘theatre’

Road Trip

April 17, 2009

I’m heading to NYC for a few days with my son. We plan to see a Broadway show (of course), do some of the touristy things, and eat fun and exotic foods. I’m also going to drag him to the New York Public Library so I can spend time with the Billy Rose Theatre Collection. I’m hoping to find the name of at least one duo from the minstrel or vaudeville era or to find examples of people singing duets in the shows. When I return, I’m also planning to visit the Harvard Theatre Collection in the Houghton Library. They have programs from both minstrel and vaudeville shows. Ideally I would love to find descriptions of how the duos performed, but absent that, I may be able to make some extrapolations if I know what songs, what shows, what theaters, and so on. Actually I think I have a good how idea how the vaudeville acts performed from listening to numerous recordings of duets in the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Boston Theaters in the Late 19th Century

December 10, 2008


From the Boston Athenaeum website

From the Boston Athenaeum website

I’m investigating duets in minstrelsy, vaudeville, and the integrated musical in order to understand both the backdrop and the background for vocal duos in the rock era. I came across a wonderful site today. The Boston Athenaeum has a collection of playbills and programs from theaters in Boston during the latter portion of the nineteenth century. They have created an online database in which you can search by theater, actor, play title, and/or date. As I understand it, the database reflects their playbill holdings. In conjunction with the database and collection, they also have brief histories of each of the theaters for which they have playbills. They also have links to some local (Boston) collections, as well as others. 


Clearly a trip into town is on the horizon for me.