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"Life upon the Wicked Stage": New Books in the Performing Arts: Madcap May: Mistress of Myth, Men & Hope

November 4, 2013

Program Locations:

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium

Richard Kurin, Undersecretary for History, Art, and Culture for the Smithsonian Institution, has just written a book on the rags-to-riches life of May Yohe, the Gay Nineties queen of the stage. Yohe was born at an inn in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had at least 3 husbands (twelve were rumored), owned the Hope Diamond, washed floors for a living, was sued for maternity, and escaped an insane asylum. Kurin's very readable biography creates a wonderful window into musical theatre in New York City at the turn of the century.