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Before the Parade Passes By: Gower Champion and the Glorious American Musical - by John Anthony Gilvey


Before the Parade Passes By: Gower Champion and the Glorious American Musical by John Anthony Gilvey

On August 25, 1980, the curtain fell on the first night of the original production of 42nd St. David Merrick, the shows megalomaniacal producer, stepped to the footlights and told the audience that the shows director, Gower Champion, had died that afternoon. Some believe he took the classic Broadway musical with him. Starting his career as one-half of a song and dance team with his wife, Gower and Marge Champion first wowed audiences in nightclubs around the world and then moved to Hollywood where they starred in many films, most notably the 1951 MGM remake of Showboat. But the stage always called to Gower and in 1960, he was hired to direct Bye, Bye Birdie. It was a smash and Champions career was off and running. John Gilvey had extensive access to all of his archives as well as to everyone associated with Champion, including Marge Champion, Carol Channing, Jerry Hermann, Jerry Orbach, Chita Rivera and others. This is one of the great theater biographies that every Broadway devotee will want.

Available On:
Before the Parade Passes By: Gower Champion and the Glorious American Musical on Hardcover Before the Parade Passes By: Gower Champion and the Glorious American Musical on Paperback

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Released: 2005





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