Every Week, a Broadway Revue: The Tamiment Playhouse, 1921-1960

Every Week, a Broadway Revue: The Tamiment Playhouse, 1921-1960

Every Week, a Broadway Revue: The Tamiment Playhouse, 1921-1960

Every Week, a Broadway Revue: The Tamiment Playhouse, 1921-1960

Synopsis

Actors Danny Kaye, Imogene Coca, and Carol Burnett, director Max Liebman, choreographer Jerome Robbins, composers Sylvia Fine and Mary Rodgers, and writers Woody Allen and Neil Simon are a small sampling of the major entertainment figures nurtured at Camp Tamiment, an adult summer camp that operated a playhouse in Pennsylvania's Pocono mountains. In this social history, peppered with anecdotes from oral histories and interviews of the "graduates of Tamiment" and archival materials, including original skits and lyrics, LoMonaco documents and illuminates a significant time and place of American entertainment.

Excerpt

The Tamiment Playhouse was a resident summer theatre that operated between 1921 and 1960 at Camp Tamiment, an adult summer camp, in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. This theatre grew out of such diverse influences as the burgeoning resort industry, the American socialist movement, the Yiddish Theatre, the American musical theatre, and popular entertainments such as revue and burlesque comedy. It became the preeminent training ground and a major creative outlet for mid-twentieth-century theatre, dance, film, and television.

The principal source for this book was the Tamiment Playhouse Archive of the Tamiment Library, New York University. This collection was donated to nyu in 1985 by the late William Thomas, a past president of the Tamiment Institute and longtime resident of Sandyville, a family bungalow colony adjoining Camp Tamiment. Just before the playhouse was razed in 1976, Thomas valiantly dug through every closet, storage area, and cubbyhole in search of all remnants of the theatre's history, from photographs to scripts and music scores to playbills. the fruits of his labor became the core of the Archive. Shortly after it arrived at nyu, I was appointed archivist and historian of the collection.

As archivist, I had two principal goals. the first was to gather as much supporting documentation as possible to add to the original holdings, and to fill in the many gaps in the historical record. the second, and perhaps more important goal, was to create an oral history library of taped interviews with Tamiment Playhouse alumni and others associated with the operation of the camp. Both projects were most successful. Important . . .

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