Cover image for Eddie Foy : a biography of the early popular stage comedian
Title:
Eddie Foy : a biography of the early popular stage comedian
Author:
Fields, Armond, 1930-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
viii, 260 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Language:
English
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780786407026
Format :
Book

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PN2287.F65 F54 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

This first-ever biography of Foy tells the story of his indigent childhood in New York's Bowery and in Chicago, his tough uphill climb as a variety artist at Western outposts, his success in vaudeville and Broadway, and his arrival as a national icon with the Seven Little Foys.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Fields has written as much a history of US popular theater from the 1870s to the 1920s as an account of a comedian who developed his unique brand of clowning in the rough-and-ready theaters of the Old West. Foy fought the stranglehold on performers of the Klaw-Erlanger "syndicate" and the Shuberts, and he helped establish the actors union, Actors Equity. In the East and on tour across the nation, he became a leading performer in musical shows that allowed him to interpolate his own songs and routines. To support his growing family, Foy moved into vaudeville between show engagements. When his idiosyncratic style of performance no longer fit in shows that had developed more rigid scripts, he brought his seven children to perform with him in one of vaudeville's most popular acts. Fields documents changing theater technologies, practices, and audiences and always relates theater to the larger social context. With its fine performance chronology, photographs, and notes, this title is strongly recommended for all levels for its insight into US popular theater. R. Sugarman; Southern Vermont College