Research Catalog

[Interview with Dwight Blocker Bowers : raw footage]

Title
[Interview with Dwight Blocker Bowers : raw footage] [videorecording] / [directed by Michael Kantor]
Publication
New York, 2002.

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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Videocassette 2Moving imageRestricted use NCOX 2137 Videocassette 2Performing Arts Research Collections - TOFT
Videocassette 3Moving imageRestricted use NCOX 2137 Videocassette 3Performing Arts Research Collections - TOFT

Details

Additional Authors
  • Bowers, Dwight Blocker
  • Kantor, Michael, 1961-
  • Broadway Film Project, Inc, donor.
  • Thirteen/WNET, donor.
Description
3 videocassettes (VHS) (70 min.) : sd., col. SP; 1/2 in.
Summary
  • Raw interview footage used for the documentary Broadway, the American musical. Author and musicologist Dwight Blocker Bowers discusses the American musical. Discussion begins with "impressario extraordinaire" Florenz Ziegfeld, who employed a high level of theatrical expertise to create a spectacular series of revues called the Follies; his partnership with songwriter Irving Berlin, whose song "A pretty girl is like a melody" became the Follies' signature; the rise of Ziegfeld's career beginning with his promotion of strongman Eugen Sandow at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition; his first production Parlor match which featured the vivacious Polish-Jewish entertainer, Anna Held, then his wife; Held's "aesthetic mentoring" of Ziegfeld, and her idea for the Follies, based on the French revue the Folies-Bergère; becoming a leading producer following the production of his first show atop the Broadway theater Jardin de Paris. Discussion continues with the melting pot quality of Vaudeville entertainment, which featured humor and songs that poked fun at the ethnic groups which also made up a large part of the audience; Tin Pan Alley, the area in Manhattan where the music publishing business was conducted, which became synonymous with popular music. Discussion ends ca. 23 min. and resumes on videocassette two with the topic of Burlesque star Fanny Brice, whose singular comic and vocal talent earned her top billing in Ziegfeld's Follies; showman George M. Cohan, whose onstage persona as a "tough upstart who triumphs" became a Broadway archetype; Cohan's beginnings as a child star, and his early career writing and directing his own shows and songs, which featured archetypal American themes; the contributions of songwriter Victor Herbert in creating a foundation for the American musical; the importance of Times Square and the elegant New Amsterdam Theatre to Broadway's growing mystique; songwriter Jerome Kern, a wealthy, conservatory-trained son of immigrant parents whose songs spurred the evolution of the modern musical; the "Cinderella musical" of the late teens and 1920s, exemplified by the show Irene, which featured strong women characters and songs like "Look for the silver lining," written expressly for them; the formation of the actors' labor union Actors' Equity in 1919 and the growing appreciation of Broadway as an industry; Ziegfeld's production of the groundbreaking Show boat in 1927, and his financial destitution following the stock market crash in 1929.
  • Discussion continues with Hollywood's lure of Broadway songwriters during the 1930s, which resulted in career frustrations for some, and in triumph for Harry Warren; Broadway performers such Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, and Marilyn Miller who met with varying success in motion pictures; songwriters' of the 1920s and '30s unique ability to capture the energy and language of their time; Busby Berkeley, a Broadway dance director, who revolutionized dancing on the motion picture screen; performer Al Jolson's use of blackface makeup; the recording of original cast albums, beginning with Oklahoma!, which disseminated Broadway music nationwide and was hugely profitable, leading record companies to become backers of musicals. Discussion resumes on tape three ca. 67 min. with the role of television variety show host Ed Sullivan in popularizing the Broadway musical; the recent redevelopment of the 42nd St. theater district; and the 1950s as the golden age of the Broadway musical.
Alternative Title
  • Broadway, the American musical
  • Broadway: the American musical : Furia/ Bowers int.
  • Broadway: the American musical : Bowers int.
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Documentaries and factual works.
  • Musicals.
  • Unedited footage.
Note
  • This interview is one of a group of interviews with 90 individuals used in making the documentary Broadway, the American musical. The completed production is available on NCOX 2058.
  • Credits for completed production from pbs.org: A film by Michael Kantor ; produced by Jeff Dupre, Michael Kantor and Sally Rosenthal ; written by Marc Fields, Michael Kantor, Laurence Maslon, and JoAnne Young ; directed by Michael Kantor.
  • Time code on frame.
  • Contains various takes, at occasional brief intervals, audio continues without sound.
Performer (note)
  • Interviewer: Michael Kantor. Interviewee: Dwight Blocker Bowers.
Event (note)
  • Videotaped in New York, N.Y. on Oct. 10, 2002.
Biography (note)
  • Broadway, the American musical, which aired on PBS in October 2004, is a documentary chronicling the entire history of a unique American art form, the Broadway musical. Each of its six episodes covers a different era in American theater history, and features the Broadway shows and songs which defined the period. The series draws on feature films, television broadcasts, archival news footage, original cast recordings, still photos, diaries, journals, first-person accounts, and on-camera interviews with many of the principals involved in the development of the genre.
Call Number
NCOX 2137
OCLC
123996447
Title
[Interview with Dwight Blocker Bowers : raw footage] [videorecording] / [directed by Michael Kantor]
Imprint
New York, 2002.
Performer
Interviewer: Michael Kantor. Interviewee: Dwight Blocker Bowers.
Event
Videotaped in New York, N.Y. on Oct. 10, 2002.
Biography
Broadway, the American musical, which aired on PBS in October 2004, is a documentary chronicling the entire history of a unique American art form, the Broadway musical. Each of its six episodes covers a different era in American theater history, and features the Broadway shows and songs which defined the period. The series draws on feature films, television broadcasts, archival news footage, original cast recordings, still photos, diaries, journals, first-person accounts, and on-camera interviews with many of the principals involved in the development of the genre.
Local Note
Gift of Broadway Film Project, Inc. and Thirteen/WNET, 2005.
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Added Author
Bowers, Dwight Blocker, interviewee.
Kantor, Michael, 1961- interviewer.
Kantor, Michael, 1961- director.
Broadway Film Project, Inc, donor.
Thirteen/WNET, donor.
Research Call Number
NCOX 2137
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