The Infamous Cherry Sisters

The Worst Act in Vaudeville

The Infamous Cherry Sisters

 Raised in poverty on an Iowa farm, the Cherry Sisters had little education and no training. But they possessed a burning desire to take to the stage and show the world what they could do—and what they could do was awful. Their unique act was “so bad it was good.” When the sisters took the stage, they were met with rotten fruit and vegetables, festering meat, dead cats... Riots often broke out after (and sometimes during) their concerts, but they carried on, changing attitudes—and laws—along the way. This book follows the five women through their forty-year career in vaudeville theaters across the U.S. Proud, fearless and fiercely independent in a time when women were treated as second-class citizens, the Cherry Sisters insisted that their voices be heard.

Shadow of a Mouse

Performance, Belief, and World-Making in Animation

Shadow of a Mouse

“Donald Crafton, our lively guide, shows us around a Tooniverse populated by performers, not just images, who engage us in all the ways their flesh-and-blood counterparts do, and then some. Taking classical animation as his terrain, Crafton nevertheless pushes ongoing discussions of performance, liveness, and corporeality in the directions in which they need to go if they are to help us describe and navigate our increasingly virtual worlds.” Philip Auslander, author of Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture "Every once in a while a book comes along that marks a transformational point in its discipline. Such a book is Donald Crafton's Shadow of a Mouse. Crafton skillfully draws together theoretical sources, animation history, technological development, and social analysis, deftly weaving together thinkers from Disney to Deleuze and Sito to Stanislavsky. The result is a substantial rethinking of animation that will reshape traditional approaches to the medium. Crafton's magisterial grasp of theory and history is livened by a true fan's passion for the subject and a keen sense of humor. Shadow of a Mouse is a must-read for anyone with an interest in performance, embodiment, popular culture, race, or reception." Mark Langer, Associate Professor of Film Studies, Carleton University

Mama Rose's Turn

The True Story of America's Most Notorious Stage Mother

Mama Rose's Turn

Hers is the show business saga you think you already know—but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Rose Thompson Hovick, mother of June Havoc and Gypsy Rose Lee, went down in theatrical history as “The Stage Mother from Hell” after her immortalization on Broadway in Gypsy: A Musical Fable. Yet the musical was 75 percent fictionalized by playwright Arthur Laurents and condensed for the stage. Rose’s full story is even more striking. Born fearless on the North Dakota prairie in 1891, Rose Thompson had a kind father and a gallivanting mother who sold lacy finery to prostitutes. She became an unhappy teenage bride whose marriage yielded two entrancing daughters, Louise and June. When June was discovered to be a child prodigy in ballet, capable of dancing en pointe by the age of three, Rose, without benefit of any theatrical training, set out to create onstage opportunities for her magical baby girl—and succeeded. Rose followed her own star and created two more in dramatic and colorful style: “Baby June” became a child headliner in vaudeville, and Louise grew up to be the well-known burlesque star Gypsy Rose Lee. The rest of Mama Rose’s remarkable story included love affairs with both men and women, the operation of a “lesbian pick-up joint” where she sold homemade bathtub gin, wild attempts to extort money from Gypsy and June, two stints as a chicken farmer, and three allegations of cold-blooded murder—all of which was deemed unfit for the script of Gypsy. Here, at last, is the rollicking, wild saga that never made it to the stage.

To Go Free

A Treasury of Iowa's Legal Heritage

To Go Free


Ghosts of 42nd Street

A History of America's Most Infamous Block

Ghosts of 42nd Street

Imagine shuffling down Broadway through the hustle and bustle right into the nonstop, neon heart of New York City: 42nd Street. Once a quiet neighborhood of brownstones and churches, the area wastransformed in the early 1900s into an entertainment hub unlike any in theworld. No place has ever evoked the glamour and romantic possibility of bigcity nightlife as vividly as did 42nd Street. It was the dazzle of "naughty, bawdy, gaudy" 42nd Street that put Times Square on the map and turned the Broadway theater district into the Great White Way. Ghosts of 42nd Street stirs your imagination as it takes you on a historical journey of this glamorized strip still known today as the Crossroads of the World. From the bold innovations of Oscar Hammerstein and Florenz Ziegfeld through the porn-laden 1960s and 1970s to the present-day "Disneyfication" of New York's bright lights district, Ghosts of 42nd Street is as fascinating as a tabloid frozen in time.

Sidney

Sidney

Nestled in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, Sidney has hummed with economic and industrial activity since its founding by Rev. William Johnston in 1772. Over the years, the town has been home to a silk mill, glassworks, cheese factory, car factory, and many other businesses. Notable figures such as New York State Police captain Daniel Fox, actor Tom Mix, newspaper editor Arthur Bird, and even Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt have lived in or spent time in the town. Today Sidney’s civic buildings, places of worship, recreational haunts, and transportation routes continue to reflect the town’s long, dynamic history. Traced within the pages of this book, a poignant collection of historical photographs chronicles the town’s evolution through the 19th and 20th centuries, and on through the devastating flood of 2006.