Shubert Brothers

Shubert Brothers

(sho͞o`bərt), theatrical managers and producers. The brothers were Lee (1871–1953), Sam S. (1878–1905), and Jacob J. (1880–1963). Originally from Syracuse, N.Y., they began as managers of touring companies. In 1900 they became managers of the Herald Square Theatre, New York City, thereafter managing and building theaters in New York and other U.S. cities. At first known for their productions of operettas, they introduced many stars to the public and staged many of the best-known revuesrevue,
a stage presentation that originated in the early 19th cent. as a light, satirical commentary on current events. It was rapidly developed, particularly in England and the United States, into an amorphous musical entertainment, retaining a small amount of satire and
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. Hurt by the depression, the Shuberts produced musicals and dramas in the 1930s and 1940s. From 1953 until his retirement (c.1959), Jacob was the sole head of Shubert Enterprises, with offices in the Shubert Theatre (named for Sam, opened 1913) off the famous Shubert Alley in New York City. The Shubert Organization, now owned by the nonprofit Shubert Foundation, continues to play a major role in the Broadway theater, owning 17 theaters and actively producing new shows; it also manages Washington, D.C.'s National Theatre and has other theatrical interests nationwide.

Bibliography

See J. Stagg, The Brothers Shubert (1968); B. McNamara, The Shuberts of Broadway (1990); F. Hirsch, The Boys from Syracuse: The Shuberts' Theatrical Empire (1998, repr. 2000).

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The Theatrical Syndicate and the Shubert brothers were, as Holmes aptly notes, parallels to "the oligopolies that came to dominate other sectors of the American economy in the early twentieth century.
The Shubert brothers started in the biz in upstate New York and came to Broadway in 1900.
Gordon, creator of the first multiscreen movie houses; the Warner brothers, who brought sound and color to the otherwise silent and black-and-white films; the Shubert brothers - conquerors of Broadway and the first czars of the American theater; Al Jolson, the actor-singer sensation who broke "the sound barrier" and survived the impact; Pola Negri, the first truly international Hollywood female movie star who opened the doors for Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman; Paul Muni, the Oscar-winning first crossover from the Yiddish theater through Broadway to the mainstream cinema: an actor-chameleon, the precursor of "the method" in acting; and last but not least Billy Wilder, the multiple Academy Award-winning writer/director.
These companies operated under the contract signed on 22 December 1908 between Solman, the Shubert Theatrical Company, and the Shubert brothers themselves.
It was built by the Shuberts to honor writer, producer and manager Oliver Morosco, who helped the original Shubert brothers battle the Theatrical Syndicate (whose history is well chronicled in The Story of 42nd Street).
The Shubert brothers built their theater empire in the fourth-floor rehearsal halls of the Lyric, producing an operetta based on Shaw's Arms and the Man, and Ibsen's The Lady and the Sea.
Straight-shooting New York Times critic Alexander Woollcott--later immortalized as the character Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came to Dinner--starts a heated feud with producers the Shubert Brothers by panning their new play, Taking Chances.
Failing a pilgrimage to the Lyceum, the next best way to get a grasp of the empirical role that the three Shubert brothers (and their successors in what would become the Shubert Organization) played in shaping theater history is to plunge into the sumptuous "The Shuberts Present.
After all, with 17 of Broadway's 38 theaters under its collective belt, the legit organization hadn't built a new one here since the Ethel Barrymore Theater went up in 1928 under the supervision of the Shubert brothers, Lee and J.
In May 1900, the Shubert brothers -- Sam, Lee and J.