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English | ISBN 10: 0809330164 | 2011 | PDF | 256 pages | 2,2 MB
Lowry's story begins in the heyday of vaudeville in the early twentieth century. Starting at the age of fourteen, he played many small stages across the country, often penniless, making ends meet with a young wife by his side both offstage and on. Though he did find success, he never achieved the stardom of other vaudevillians like Burns, Benny, and Keaton.
Lowry recognized that movies and other forms of entertainment were the future, and thus branched out into radio, film, cabaret, and USO road shows. With wit and perception, he reveals his stage roots as an entertainer playing to his audience, and editor Paul M. Levitt's introduction beautifully sets the stage for Lowry's gags-to-riches tale, providing much-needed historical perspective.
My Life in Vaudeville is an unpretentious record of a time when thousands of young people went into show business to escape the boredom of daily life, and Lowry's story is a view of vaudeville not often encountered. His story brings vaudeville to life and places it within the larger narratives of popular culture and popular entertainment of the twentieth century.
"Paul M. Levitt, a novelist and playwright of wit and verve, has rescued Ed Lowry's extraordinary memoirs. My Life in Vaudeville, covering the Jazz Age to the dawn of World War II, provides a rich resource for theater history and enhances a lost era with captivating details."–-Alan Wald, H. Chandler Davis Collegiate Professor, University of Michigan
"This is an autobiography that brings to life not only its remarkable author but also the entire era and adventures of American vaudeville."–-Berel Lang, Department of Philosophy and College of Letters, Wesleyan University