William B. Gill : from the goldfields to Broadway / Kurt Gänzl Gänzl, Kurt

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Gänzl, Kurt
Gill, William B., 1842-1919.; Gill, William B.; Librettists - United States - Biography.
"Canadian by birth, Australian by upbringing, William B. Gill trod the boards in the Australian goldfields and the hill-stations of India before going on to try his luck in America. After unpromising beginnings in the backwoods of Utah and Nevada, he scrambled chancily up the tree, to earn leading roles on Broadway as a comedian. He also produced a bundle of shows of his own writing, and before long his extravaganzas, comedies, and dramas were being seen all around America. Among these hits was the show that was to turn out to be the longest running American-made Broadway musical of the century: Adonis. As a straight parody of the Pygmalion legend - but with the sex roles switched, so that a beautiful, male statue comes to life - the play both parodied the excesses of melodrama and comic opera and celebrated them, and Adonis went on to a long life, countless revivals, and a place as a landmark in the history of American theater. Other hugely popular Gill plays and musicals followed Adonis until, with the new century, his style of rip-roaring writing went out of fashion, and Gill faded away into a century of forgottenness."--Jacket.
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