100 years ago, William Morris was a “household name” to anyone in American show business – not the British William Morris of the 1800s, but the foremost theatrical agent of his time.
Go with Bill as he revisits the days before television, radio, and “talkies,” when entertainment was always live and hardly ever in your living room. Learn about the greatest agent in vaudeville, a man respected, revered, and even loved by the likes of Sir Harry Lauder and Sophie Tucker---a man whose legacy has continued through the William Morris Theatrical Agency, the most influential booking agency of the 20th Century, and now through William Morris Endeavor, one of the world’s largest talent agencies in all parts of the entertainment industry.
Bill Berlinghoff is uniquely qualified to tell this story. His great-aunt Emma Berlinghoff was Mrs. William Morris. His grandfather Henry’s Young American Band was the first act the William Morris Agency ever booked, and “Uncle Henry,” as he came to be known, was a senior officer of the Agency for many years. You’ll learn more than you’ll find on Wikipedia, and get an up-close look at some rare memorabilia from the heyday of live variety entertainment.
William Morris & Vaudeville is a one-hour, PowerPoint-assisted talk with a display of rare books, pictures, news clippings, and other items from 1900-1950. It is particularly suitable for community library programs and civic groups.
“This is a fascinating presentation, made even more interesting by Bill's personal relationship with the agency. It would be especially intriguing for anyone interested in the story of the American theater in general, or in vaudeville in particular.”
Reid Byers, Head
Shiretown Bookers, Farmington, ME
after 2/19/18 presentation in their Lecture Series