AVM recommends:

Vaudeville Wars: How the Keith Albee and Orpheum Circuits Controlled the Big Time and Its Performers by Arthur Frank Wertheim, 336 pages, $69.95, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, ISBN 1403968258


Many books have been written about vaudeville and its headliners. What has been lacking is a book about the business of vaudeville and the men who ruled. Arthur Wertheim delivers a tightly-written, engrossing tale of intrigue, back-stabbing and chicanery, and he has fleshed out the personalities of the robber barons of vaudeville, turning Keith, Albee, Proctor, Meyerfeld, Beck, Murdock and the rest into something far more real than the dour, pompous portraits they commissioned of themselves.

Anyone who wants to understand vaudeville will do well to read Vaudeville Wars. Indeed, it would make a well-documented case study for an MBA program as well a lively read for vaudeville fans. Vaudeville Wars is a highly recommended addition to libraries.


American Vaudeville Museum

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