Coherency: Lew Fields, the performer-producer and experimenter in integration

Symonds, Dominic (2017) Coherency: Lew Fields, the performer-producer and experimenter in integration. In: Palgrave handbook of musical theatre producers. Palgrave, pp. 127-135. ISBN 9781137440297, 9781137433084

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Born Moses Schoenfeld in the Lower East Side of New York on New Year’s Day 1867, Lew Fields spent his formative years in the vibrant playground of the celebrated “melting pot.” The child of immigrants himself, he would soon meet his long-term friend and working partner Joe Weber (1867-1942) in the chaotic streets around the Bowery. Their characters Mike and Meyer garbled the English language while trying to concoct get-rich schemes and assimilate into American society. In 1904 the team split and Joe Weber took over the running of the venue while Lew Fields continued to perform. Fields fell into producing his own shows, and thanks to a number of early successes, was soon taken on by the Shubert Brothers as a partner. This chapter explores Fields’ work as a producer, both with the Shuberts and independently. It considers Fields’ relationship with collaborators including his son Herbert and the young writing team of Rodgers and Hart, and it contextualises Fields’ contribution to the developing tendency towards integration, which Fields called “Coherency.” Fields’ attitudes and approach are seen as fundamental contributors to the development of the integrated Broadway musical as it emerged in the 1940s.

Keywords:Musical theatre, Broadway, Theatre producers, Lew Fields, Integration, Weber and Fields, Rodgers and Hart
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W330 History of Music
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:19962
Deposited On:09 Jan 2016 19:30

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