Wednesday, February 11, 2009


American playwright, stage director, and producer. He began as an actor in 1913; from 1930 onward he concentrated on directing comedies and musical comedies, frequently also serving as coauthor. He directed a memorable series of farces, including Twentieth Century (1932); Tree Men on a Horse (1935), which he wrote with John Cecil Holm; Boy Meets Girl (1935); and Room Service (1937). Successful musicals staged by Abbott include Pal Joey (1940), Damn Yankees (1955), and Fiorello! (1959). He was coauthor of the last two. One of the most knowledgeable all-round men of the theater, he produced plays that have invariably been distinguished by vitality and astute showmanship.

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