Weber and Fields

Their Tribulations, Triumphs, and Their Associates

By Felix Isman
Introduction by Ken Bloom

Subjects: Drama, Biography, General Interest, New York/regional
Series: New York Classics, Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Hardcover : 9781438490519, 218 pages, November 2022
Paperback : 9781438490526, 218 pages, November 2022

Table of contents

New Introduction
Ken Bloom

Dedication
Acknowledgment
List of Illustrations
Introduction

1. Rough Beginnings: Youth through Teen Years

2. “A Jolly Pair”: Breaking In and First Road Trips, Early 1880s

3. Mike and Myer Are Born: Hitting the Road, the Mid 1880s

4. On the Road: Circus and Variety Days, 1887–1896

5. A New Theater, a First Season: “The Geezer,” “Under the Red Globe,” and “Mr. New York, Esquire,” 1896–1897

6. The Second and Third Seasons: “The Con Curers,” “Catherine,” and “Helter Skelter,” 1897–1899

7. The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Seasons: And “Whirl-i-Gig” and “Hoity Toity,” 1899–1901

8. The Seventh and Eighth Seasons: An Ending and Then a Reunion, 1902–1904, 1912

The first and best biography of this pioneering comic duo and Broadway Stars--in a new edition!

Description

Joe Weber and Lew Fields were the dominant musical comedy team at the turn of the last century. They created classic comedic characters and routines and formed their own theatrical troupe, running a theater in New York for many years where they produced successful revues that combined music, dance, and song. So famous were they in their time that they inspired a full-length biography by a major publisher.

Weber and Fields follows the duo from their childhood on New York's rough-and-tumble Lower East Side to the creation of their best-known characters, the Dutch knockabout comedians Mike and Myer, and continues with the opening of their own theater in 1896 (with landmark productions through 1904) to their reunion in 1912. This new edition brings an out-of-print classic to a new generation of theater loves. A new introduction by Ken Bloom carries the story through the rest of their careers, showing how Weber and Fields set the stage for comic duos that followed, including Mutt and Jeff of comic book fame, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Rowan and Martin, and countless others.

Felix Isman (1873–1943) was an art collector, real estate speculator, and theatrical producer. Ken Bloom is a director, producer, and author. His many books include Eubie Blake: Rags, Rhythm and Race (coauthored with Richard Carlin) and Show and Tell: The New Book of Broadway Anecdotes.