Biography: David Belasco

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  • Topic: Broadway theatre, David Belasco, Theatre
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  • Published : August 1, 2012
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David Belasco
David Belasco was an American theatrical producer, impresario, director, and playwright. He was born in San Francisco, California on July 25, 1853. His parents were Jewish and they moved during the gold rush to San Francisco. He worked in San Francisco theaters doing a variety of jobs, such as call boy and script copier. He worked as a stage manager for the Madison Square Theater, and the old Lyceum Theater. He also wrote many plays and was very successful so he became an independent producer. Belasco wrote, directed, or produced more than 100 Broadway plays including the Hearts of Oak, The Heart of Maryland, and Du Barry. David is also famous for changing the “Madame Butterfly” into a play. More than forty films and motion pictures have been made from the many plays he authored. One of the motion pictures is Buster Keaton’s Seven Chances. Belasco was known as the “"the Bishop of Broadway” because he always dressed in black clothing and this made him seem like a priest. In The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald, chapter Nick encounters "The Owl Eyed Man," who says of Gatsby "This fella's a regular Belasco," in reference to his giant library. Nick is referencing that Gatsby has a big library and a lot of knowledge like Belasco who did many things in the Theater business. David Belasco was married to Cecilia Loverich for over fifty years; they had two daughters, Reina and Augusta. A lot of people wanted to work with Belasco but the two that got to work with him in plays and other things closely were Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore. Belasco is recognized for bringing a new standard of naturalism to the American stage. He was also known for his advanced lighting techniques and use of color to evoke mood and setting. There were two theaters named after Belasco. The first one was called the Belasco Theatre in New York City. David Belasco owned the first theater and remolded it to make it the way he wanted to. The second Belasco Theater is located...
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