The Age and Stage of George L. Fox, 1825-1877
“This is a magisterial study, the author of which is the best writer among American theatre scholars. Among his virtues is an unerring eye for the apposite quotation and the clinching anecdote…The Age and Stage of George L. Fox may be recommended to students of theatre history as exemplary. It is a performance biography grounded in a deeply learned sense of theatrical fun.”—Theatre History Studies
“Senelick reacquaints us with the man called 'Royal George' in his heyday, and convincingly argues that his panto style is reflected in the lazzi of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges and the animated cartoon. This well organized, thoroughly researched volume will benefit anyone fascinated with nineteenth-century America's cultural and theatrical history, or those intrigued by the development of physical comedy style. It will enhance any library, public or private.”—Theatre Studies
“…an evocative portrait of the colorful and rambunctious nineteenth-century popular stage that extends well beyond biography or theatrical antiquarianism. Populated with eccentric journeymen actors, unscrupulous producers, grasping wives, and gregarious audiences, Senelick's narrative entertains in the style of a nineteenth-century melodrama. More importantly, Senelick persuasively weaves the crosscurrents of social, political, and moral values of the day into his account.”—Theatre Journal
“Senelick portrays not only the talents and vicissitudes of the most popular clowns in the nineteenth-century United States but also the public attitudes that made his success possible…Two major values of Senelick's book are his understanding of an American clown's exploitations of the life around him and his inclusion of rare and excellent excerpts from surviving pantomimes.”—Journal of American History
Senelick's biography of the panto clown Laff Fox, renowned in his time as America's funniest performer, brings this most popular and most tragic legend to life. In his new essay to this expanded edition, Senelick draws upon recent discoveries and insights to further animate Fox's remarkable career.