George Lederer

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George Lederer, 1914 or earlier

George Lederer (c. 1862, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania − October 8, 1938) was an American producer and director on Broadway from 1894 to 1931. He was the husband of Reine Davies and father of Charles Lederer and Pepi Lederer.[1]

Biography[edit]

The Decoy (1916), one of the motion pictures directed by George Lederer

His career began when he joined a touring opera company at age 13, as a soprano singer. When he reached the age of 17, he collaborated with the producer Thomas Canary and leased the Casino Theatre, in New York City. In 1897, at age 25, he produced the musical The Belle of New York, which became one of the first American musicals to enjoy enduring success in England, where it ran for over two years.

Lederer was one of the first producers of musical Revues in the U.S., when together with Sydney Rosenfeld, he presented The Passing Show in 1894. While he was manager of the New York Theatre he presented the all-black musical In Dahomey, with music by Will Marion Cook and lyrics by poet Paul Dunbar. It starred the prominent black vaudeville team of Bert Williams and George Walker. Then crossing the Atlantic, it played for seven months, and received a Royal Command Performance at Buckingham Palace in England. The cakewalk dance, a highlight of the show, became the rage of the town.

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