Second wind: the musical theatre influence of cross-talk comedian Lew Fields

Symonds, Dominic (2015) Second wind: the musical theatre influence of cross-talk comedian Lew Fields. In: Song, Stage and Screen X: The Star System in Theatre and Film, 24 - 26 June 2015, Regent's University London.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Comedian Lew Fields (1867-1941) enjoyed over twenty years of stardom as half of the double act Weber and Fields. Their celebrated characters Mike and Meyer first appeared on stage when both were teenagers, and lasted until their split in 1904. This was when Fields began to produce his own shows, sometimes independently and sometimes under the auspices of the Shubert empire. In part his enthusiasm to produce was an attempt to keep alive the profile of his stellar career; but as this waned and as he experienced bankruptcy, depression and the inevitable change in tastes of contemporary audiences, his interest in musical comedy and his support of new talent almost inadvertently became instrumental in the development of musical comedy. As producer to the young team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and as father to three children who would become writing stars in their own right (Dorothy, Herbert and Joseph), Lew Fields’ influence really did develop a second wind. With Fields’ extraordinary life and career as a backdrop, this paper will explore the idea of a star’s abiding influence. Even when their star begins to fade, the profile of a formative career can enable considerable impact in a second field.

Keywords:Lew Fields, Mike and Meyer, Rodgers and Hart, Broadway, Musical Theatre
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W310 Musicianship/Performance studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
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ID Code:22458
Deposited On:09 Mar 2016 15:07

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