Extravaganza King: Robert Barnet and Boston Musical Theater
Anne Alison BarnetISBN: 1555536115;
Book DescriptionThis is the entertaining tale of Robert Barnet (1853?1933), a prosperous Boston sugar merchant, and the enormously popular musical theatricals he wrote and produced for the First Corps of Cadets, a volunteer militia of young upper-class Boston businessmen who sought money to build an armory as protection against feared immigrant uprisings. Barnet had already made a name for himself in local amateur theater circles when the Corps hired the middle-aged father of five to stage fund-raisers to erect the armory, known today as the Park Plaza Castle. Dubbed the "Extravaganza King" for his ever more elaborate productions, held annually in Boston from 1891 to 1906, Barnet almost single-handedly managed the lavish musical farces and Mother Goose burlesques, acting as librettist, director, stage manager, and costume designer. The male cadets, including several Harvard graduates trained in the Hasty Pudding tradition, played all of the roles in these overblown affairs,...
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