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PEOPLE IN AMERICA - George Abbott

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]
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PEOPLE IN AMERICA -February 3, 2002: George Abbott

By Nancy Steinbach
VOICE 1:

I'm Shirley Griffith.

VOICE 2:

And I'm Steve Ember with the Special English program. People in America. Every week we tell about a person
important in the history of the United States. Today, we tell about the man known as "Mr. broadway," George
Abbott.

(Theme)

VOICE 1:

Experts say probably no one in the history of the American theater influenced it more than George Abbott. He
lived to be one-hundred-seven years old. He remained active until he died, January thirty-first, nineteen-ninetyfive.


You can tell the history of the Broadway theater area in New York City by telling the story of George Abbott's
life. He wrote plays. He directed them. He produced plays. And he acted in them. He was involved in more than
one-hundred-twenty productions. Some of his most popular shows were musicals. They include "Jumbo," "Pal1
Joey," "Call Me Madam," "Pajama Game," "Fiorello!" and "Damn2 Yankees. " In some years, he had three hit
shows at the same time.

VOICE 2:

"Damn Yankees" opened in New York in nineteen-fifty-five. George Abbott helped write the musical play. And
he directed it. It won eight of the Tony Awards given each year for the best theater productions on Broadway. In
nineteen-ninety-four, another performance of "Damn Yankees" opened on Broadway. George Abbott helped with
the production. He was one-hundred-six years old.

"Damn Yankees" is about a baseball player on the Washington senators3 baseball team. He sells his soul to the
devil4 so the senators will win the championship. A major person in the play is a beautiful woman who works5 for
the devil. Her name is lola. One of the best known songs from that show is "whatever lola wants":

((Cut 1: Whatever Lola Wants))

VOICE 1:

George Francis Abbott was born in eighteen-eighty-seven, in New York state. His family moved to the western
state of Wyoming when he was eleven years old.

George worked as a cowboy during summers before the family moved back to New York state, near the city of
Buffalo6. He attended the University of Rochester, where he played football and took part in the acting7 club. He
then studied play writing at Harvard University. In nineteen-twelve, he won one -hundred dollars for a play he
wrote called "The Man in the Manhole."

George Abbott moved to New York City in nineteen-thirteen. But he had a slow start in the theater. He did not
get many acting jobs. Two years later, he became an assistant to a theater producer. Soon he was deeply involved
with re-writing plays and producing them. He had his first hit show in nineteen-twenty-six. It was called
"Broadway."

VOICE 2:


George Abbott worked in Hollywood too. He was involved in producing eleven movies between nineteen-
twenty-eight and nineteen-fifty-eight. "All Quiet on the Western Front" was one of the most praised. He also
produced films of the musical plays "Damn Yankees," "Where's Charley." And "The Pajama Game".

A few weeks before his death, Mr. Abbott reportedly was working on a new version8 of "The Pajama Game." The
musical play is about workers in a pajama factory. The clothing workers are planning to strike for more pay. How
much more ... seven-and-a-half cents:

((Cut 2: Seven and a Half Cents))

VOICE 1:

Beginning in nineteen-twenty, George Abbott had at least one play on broadway each year. Sometimes there
were as many as five.

Mr. Abbott liked working with young, unknown actors. He once said a producer was better off if he did not have
a star in his show. He said working without a star saves money and damage to the nerves9! that is why George
Abbott gave acting jobs to actors who were unknown at the time. Many became very famous. Helen Hayes, Gene10
Kelley, Eddie Albert, Shirley maclaine, and Carol Burnett are just a few. He also helped unknown song writers,
dancers and producers like Harold Prince, Leonard Bbernstein, Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins.

George Abbott changed the American theater in many ways. He was the first to produce musical shows that were
serious dramas, not just light love stories. And he was the first producer to use ballet dancers in a musical show.
He worked with the ballet expert George Balanchine. That was in nineteen-thirty-six. The play was "On Your
Toes. " The music was "Slaughter11 on Tenth Avenue":

((CUT 3: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue)

VOICE 2:

George Abbott won just about every award a person can win in the theater. He received a special Tony Award for
his lifetime of work. He also received the Kennedy Center lifetime achievement award in nineteen-eighty-two.
And he won Tony awards for four of his musical shows including "Ffiorello!"

"Fiorello!" also won the Pulitzer Prize for drama after it opened in nineteen-fifty-nine. It is about the life of
Fiorello LaGuardia, the mayor12 of New York City during the nineteen-forties. Many critics said the song "Little
Tin Box" was the best in the show. It makes fun of the way politicians try to explain their actions when they are
accused of spending public money for their own use. Here is "Little Tin Box" from "Fiorello!":

((CUT 4: Little Tin Box))

VOICE 1:

George Abbott earned millions of dollars in the theater. But he did not spend his money freely13. He always helped
the poor, however. And he quietly provided14 money to produce shows that no one else would support.

Mr. Abbott was married three times. He had a daughter who also worked in the theater. She died in nineteen-
eighty-four.

VOICE 2:

George Abbott was always involved in new projects, usually several at one time. But he always took care of his
health. He said it was important to eat three meals a day and get enough sleep each night.

He always wore a suit and tie. And he always said what was necessary, not a word more. For Mr. Abbott, the
play was the most important thing, and nothing was permitted to interfere15. Actors and people who went to his
plays loved him for it.

When George Abbott celebrated16 his one-hundredth birthday in nineteen-eighty-seven, theater actors honored17 him
with a big party. They also performed for him. They ended their show with a song George Abbott especially


liked. So we thought we would end with it too. It is called "Heart," from George Abbott's show, "Damn Yankees.
"
((Cut 4: Heart)
)


VOICE 1:
This Special English program was written by Nancy Steinbach and produced by Lawan Davis. I'm Shirley
Griffith.


VOICE 2:
And I'm Steve Ember. Listen again next week for another People in America program on the Voice of America.

 

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点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 pal j4Fz4     
n.朋友,伙伴,同志;vi.结为友
参考例句:
  • He is a pal of mine.他是我的一个朋友。
  • Listen,pal,I don't want you talking to my sister any more.听着,小子,我不让你再和我妹妹说话了。
2 damn jnyzC     
int.该死,他妈的;vt.指责,贬斥,诅咒
参考例句:
  • Damn this useless typewriter!这台破打字机真该死!
  • I knew damn well what he was going to say.我非常清楚他要说什么。
3 senators 1181a181f18e7836f23146bc18668881     
n.参议员( senator的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • When the senators vote, the ayes will have it. 参议员投票时,投赞成票的人将占多数。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The committee concluded that the senators had engaged in improper conduct. 委员会断定议员们从事了不正当活动。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 devil dlMzu     
n.魔鬼,恶魔
参考例句:
  • It is easier to raise the devil than to lay him.召鬼容易驱鬼难。
  • Susie,you're a determined little devil.苏茜,你真是个坚决的小家伙。
5 works ieuzIh     
n.作品,著作;工厂,活动部件,机件
参考例句:
  • We expect writers to produce more and better works.我们期望作家们写出更多更好的作品。
  • The novel is regarded as one of the classic works.这篇小说被公认为是最优秀的作品之一。
6 buffalo 1Sby4     
n.(北美)野牛;(亚洲)水牛
参考例句:
  • Asian buffalo isn't as wild as that of America's. 亚洲水牛比美洲水牛温顺些。
  • The boots are made of buffalo hide. 这双靴子是由水牛皮制成的。
7 acting czRzoc     
n.演戏,行为,假装;adj.代理的,临时的,演出用的
参考例句:
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
8 version FiJwT     
n.版本;型号;叙述,说法
参考例句:
  • His version of the events is pure supposition.他对这件事的说法纯属猜测。
  • What is your version of this matter?你对这件事情的看法 怎么样?
9 nerves YnAzEB     
n.神经紧张 vt.鼓起勇气
参考例句:
  • What he said at the meeting strung her nerves up. 他在会议上的发言使她的神经很紧张。
  • At the end of a day's teaching, her nerves were absolutely shattered. 教了一天课,她精疲力竭。
10 gene WgKxx     
n.遗传因子,基因
参考例句:
  • A single gene may have many effects.单一基因可能具有很多种效应。
  • The targeting of gene therapy has been paid close attention.其中基因治疗的靶向性是值得密切关注的问题之一。
11 slaughter 8Tpz1     
n.屠杀,屠宰;vt.屠杀,宰杀
参考例句:
  • I couldn't stand to watch them slaughter the cattle.我不忍看他们宰牛。
  • Wholesale slaughter was carried out in the name of progress.大规模的屠杀在维护进步的名义下进行。
12 mayor iBOxX     
n.市长
参考例句:
  • The new mayor said he would clean the city up.新市长说,他要整顿本市。
  • The mayor hurried into his office,brushing off the reporters.市长赶快走进办公室,拒不接见记者。
13 freely LiexN     
adv.自由地,随便地,无拘无束地
参考例句:
  • She was unable to keep back her tears,and wept freely.她抑制不住泪水,痛痛快快地哭了起来。
  • A liquid flows freely and has no fixed shape.液体能自由流动,无固定形态。
14 provided PkNzng     
conj.假如,若是;adj.预备好的,由...供给的
参考例句:
  • Provided it's fine we will have a pleasant holiday.如果天气良好,我们的假日将过得非常愉快。
  • I will come provided that it's not raining tomorrow.如果明天不下雨,我就来。
15 interfere b5lx0     
v.(in)干涉,干预;(with)妨碍,打扰
参考例句:
  • If we interfere, it may do more harm than good.如果我们干预的话,可能弊多利少。
  • When others interfere in the affair,it always makes troubles. 别人一卷入这一事件,棘手的事情就来了。
16 celebrated iwLzpz     
adj.有名的,声誉卓著的
参考例句:
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
17 honored honored     
adj.光荣的:荣幸的v.尊敬,给以荣誉( honor的过去式和过去分词 )
参考例句:
  • I hope to be honored with further orders. 如蒙惠顾,不胜荣幸。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • This is a time-honored custom. 这是一个古老的习俗。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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TAG标签:   America  George
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