A hundred years ago, George M. Cohan was the man who owned Broadway. Producer, director, writer, actor, singer, dancer, composer and lyricist, he was the son of two vaudeville performers from Rhode Island. Little George could sing and dance as soon as he could walk and talk. He quickly became an entertainment phenomenon, and changed the face of American show business.
A brash Irish-American kid loaded with talent and ambition, there was nothing he couldn’t talk himself into or out of. Check out Mr. Cohan’s member tripod page or his musicals 101 page for additional details.
George M. Cohan was the Yankee Doodle Boy whose statue stands in the middle of Times Square, now a Times Square he never knew. This new impossible environment is an ever-changing neverland of lights, sounds, people and pure energy. Not unlike Mr. Cohan.
I lived in New York when I was studying to be an actor and in the first few years of struggling to establish myself as a professional actor. I pounded the pavements looking for an agent, did showcase productions for free, bought the trade papers every week and went to every audition, waited tables and answered phones and sold rug shampoo on the sidewalks to support myself, and with all my youthful drive and excitement, I figured I owned that town just like George M. Cohan.
Now, more than 35 years after I lived there, I go back to NYC as a tourist, with a blazer and comfortable shoes and a camera around my neck and look at Broadway through a different lens. But George M. Cohan has been there all the time.