Stars of Vaudeville #312: Ned Wayburn
Ned Wayburn (born this day in 1874) was known as many things: the entrepreneur behind a string of vaudeville and dance schools; producer of vaudeville flash and kiddie acts; and choreographer for big budget Broadway shows, such as the Ziegfeld Follies. He’d started playing piano and singing in amateur theatricals in the Chicago area when a local theatre owner convinced him to go pro. He worked the circuits in the midwest, eventually moving to New York in the early years of the last century, where he found rapid success as a director, choreographer and producer.
If you want to find an absolute treasure trove of info about vaudeville, revues and early Broadway, check out his 1925 book The Art of Stage Dancing, available in its entirety free-of-charge here. (See my beloved Countess’s much more thorough appreciation here.) Wayburn passed away in 1942.
To learn more about vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.