George Abbott

Definition

Theater

  • (1887 - 1995) US playwright and director of musicals. A supremecraftsman, he did most of his best work collaborating on and rewriting playsfor Broadway. His biggest hit came in 1938 with the musical The Boys fromSyracuse. Abbott wrote the book and directed; the music was by RichardRodgers and Lorenz Hart. It was not seen in London until 1963, in aproduction directed by the 75-year-old Abbott.

    His first success was The Fall Guy (1925), cowrittenwith James Gleason. Other hits included Love 'em and Leave 'em(1926), Broadway (1926; with Phillip Dunning), Coquette(1927), starring Helen Hayes, Three Men on a Horse (1935; withJohn Cecil Holm), Where's Charley? (1948; with Frank Loesser),The Pajama Game (1954; with Richard Bissell and music by RichardAdler and Jerry Ross), Damn Yankees! (1955; music by Adlerand Ross), and Fiorello (1959; music by Jerry Bock and SheldonHarnick). Abbott also directed Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey(1940), which made Gene Kelly a star, and High Button Shoes(1947).

    In 1966 the Adelphi Theatre on Broadway was renamed the GeorgeAbbott Theatre in his honour. He remained active in the theater intohis nineties and lived to the age of 107.

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