Gest, Morris


Gest, Morris
(1881-1942)
   Born in Vilna, Russia, Morris Gest immigrated to Boston as a child. He began his theatrical career producing plays there in 1903. By 1905, he had formed a successful New York production partnership with F. Ray Comstock. Spectacles like The Story of the Rosary (1914) and The Wanderer (1917) characterized their years at the Manhattan Opera House (1914-1920) and the Century Theatre (1917-1919). They presented Jerome Kern's musical Leave It to Jane (1917) at the Century. However, their crowning efforts were foreign attractions, including the long-running British musical Chu Chin Chow (1917), Nikita Baileff's Chauve Souris revue (1922), an acclaimed New York season ofthe Moscow Art Theatre (1923), Italian actress Eleonora Duse's triumphant 1923-1924 tour (which ended abruptly when she died in Pittsburgh), and Max Reinhardt 's production of The Miracle (1924). The GestComstock partnership ended in 1928, but Gest continued producing until his death, including American tours by Reinhardt's leading actor, Aleksandër Moisiu, and the Freiburg Passion Play, as well as the Al Jolson musical The Wonder Bar (1931).
   See also foreign plays adapted to the american stage.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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