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Home » Books » Arts & Photography » Performing Arts » Comedy

Lydia Thompson

A Biography (Forgotten Stars of the Musical Theatre S.)

By Kurt Ganzl

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Format: Hardback, 235 pages
Other Information: 29 b&w photographs, index
Published In: United Kingdom, 02 May 2002
This inaugural volume in the new Forgotten Stars of the Musical Theatre series sets Lydia Thompson, queen of burlesque, under the spotlight. The book and the series will attempt to restore to their place in theatre history performers and writers who were famous in their era, yet who have since faded inexplicably from popular memory. We intend to resurrect their lives and legacies for the theatre enthusiast. Outlandish tales of Lydia's touring burlesque company, the British Blondes, and such lurid episodes as her horsewhipping of a Chicago editor, a romance with a Russian Grand Duke, and her lesbian attacker have left her with a reputation as a bawdy burlesquer, but Kurt Ganzl, who is also the series editor and one of the world's premier experts on musical theatre, argues that she was nothing of the kind. Sweet, gentle and loving, she was an electrifying actress, a peerless dancer, an accomplished comedienne and an enchanting singer, with a star quality that to this day has been rivaled only by a few performers. Through this biography, the reader will learn the whole and hitherto untold story of this multi-dimensional musical-theatre star.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents. Series Introduction. Introduction. 1. The Family Album 2. Airy Fairy Lydia 3. The Big Time 4. Back to Britain 5. Provinces and Plays 6. Oh! That Devilish Man 7. Over the Seas to Superstardom 8. Niblo's Nights 9. On the Road 10. Schemes and Schisms 11. All Over Again 12. How Do You Follow That..? 13. Exit a Husband 14. Final Flutterings. Endnotes. Index

Reviews

"This is a thorough biography, chronicling the life of an important though somewhat neglected figure and rich in data. It introduces valuable information about Thompson as well as a wealth of primary source material."-Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix, "Theatre Journal "The strength of this book is its detailed performance history, a history that makes clear that Thompson--far less "blonde" then [sic] she appears in legend--was no minor actress either before she crossed the Atlantic or after her American success."-Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix, "Theatre Journal "Thompson's story is told most completely here and might certainly compel the undergraduate student and theatre aficionado."-Elizabeth Reitz Mullenix, "Theatre Journal "An atmosphere of empathy and admiration penetrates Ganzl's depiction of this actress's career, from her boomtown days in a touring burlesque company ("British Blondes") to her last performance as Duchess of Albuquerque in Ruy Blas's "A Queen's Romance."-American Theater, July/August

EAN: 9780415937665
ISBN: 0415937663
Publisher: Routledge
Dimensions: 23.52 x 16.21 x 2.29 centimetres (0.54 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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