The American Theatre series discusses every Broadway production chronologically--show by show and season by season. It offers plot summaries, production details, names of leading actors and actresses--the roles they played, as well as any special or unusual aspects of individual shows. This second volume in the series, covers what is probably the richest period in American theater, the years 1914 through 1930. Bordman includes most of Eugene O'Neill's work, along with playwrights as diverse as Elmer Rice and George Kaufman. Among the era's stars one finds John and Ethel Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Katherine Cornell, and Lynn Fontaine and Alfred Lunt. Considering the sheer number of productions, American theater climbed to its all-time high in the 1920s; by mid-decade, nearly 300 new plays appeared on Broadway each year. America saw more theatrical activity--in every sense of the word-- than any time before or since.
"[An] essential reference work for theater students and scholars....What is especially pleasing about this book is not only its amazing cornucopia of information, but its easy readability....For all theater collections."--Library Journal
"[A] lively, informal history....Although this is a valuable reference work, reflecting an exhaustive knowledge of the theater, the vivid prose and memorable images also make it a joy to read. The reference value is enhanced by indexes to play titles, people, sources, and organizations."--Choice
"Hits and flops alike receive an insightful overview in this colorful saga of vintage theater history."--B'Nai B'rith Life
"A tireless researcher, he is also a concise and lively writer....An invaluable reference book and a great read."--Happening
"...accessible and of...interest to the general reader..."--Daily News