Publicity, nerve, and verve made David Merrick possibly the most successful producer in the history of Broadway. Not since the days of David Belasco or Florenz Ziegfeld had the theatre produced such a spectacular producer-star. He was dubbed The Barnum of Broadway or, less flatteringly, The Abominable Showman, and Clive Barnes of the New York TimeS≪/i> said he had showmanship running out of his ears. Although he was best known for his musical productions, including Hello Dolly! (1964) and 42nd Street (1980), he produced many nonmusicals as well; Cecil Smith of the Los Angeles Times wrote that he was one of the most sensitive and effective producers of fine dramas in modern Broadway. Merrick's career, tempered by a legal background, is an undisputed testimony to his artistic sensibilities, his razor-edged business acumen, his talent for public relations, and his unrelenting drive.This study chronicles the life and career of one of the last of Broadway's independent producers, David Merrick, who produced eighty-eight plays on Broadway during his professional lifetime. Following a chronology of his career and a biographical sketch, all his plays, plus film productions, are carefully documented with credits, runs, synopses, and review citations. An annotated bibliography includes his own writings and a chronologically organized listing of books and articles about him. An appendix is devoted to major awards given to Merrick, his productions, and other principals and stars involved with them; and a second appendix lists theatre productions that were made into films. Carefully cross-referenced and indexed, the book adds to the growing number of studies that organize essential resources for research and scholarship in American theatre.
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