The Bowery (song) - History


The Producer / playwright / lyricist, Charles H. Hoyt (1849–1900), collaborated on at least 11 musicals with conductor / composer, Percy Gaunt (1852–1896). Hoyt, who has been called the Father of American Farce, developed a style in his musicals based upon fast action, outrageous situations, witty dialogue, dancing, acrobatics, and singing. The meager plot of A Trip to Chinatown did not remain constant during its long run but varied with changes in novelty acts, songs, characters, and lines. One constant was The Bowery, which had been interpolated initially to shore up the musical's appeal. The strategy proved successful, and The Bowery became a major factor in the show's success. It was introduced on Broadway by comic Harry Conor. A Trip to Chinatown ran for 650 performances and set a Broadway record which would stand for 20 years. The Bowery sold more than a million copies of sheet music and has remained a familiar song.

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    The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs?
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