The Theater: Top Slander

Los Angeles' Burbank Theater was known to the trade as a "hoodoo house" when a lean, sandy-haired, 23-year-old manager named Oliver Mitchell took it over in 1899. Weaned in the theater as a "top stander" in a family acrobatic act called The Three Moroscos, Oliver assumed the name Morosco. He struck out for himself at the age of twelve, became assistant manager of a theater at 16. At 35, in the Burbank, he produced a musical hit, The Bird of Paradise.

From then on Oliver Morosco was one of the nation's most spectacular showmen. From a succession of Broadway hits including The...

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