Brian Hooker

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b. 2 November 1880, New London, Connecticut, USA, d. 28 December 1946, New London, Connecticut, USA. Active on Broadway in the 20s and 30s, Hooker wrote music and lyrics for shows such as June Love (1921),…
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Artist Biography by

b. 2 November 1880, New London, Connecticut, USA, d. 28 December 1946, New London, Connecticut, USA. Active on Broadway in the 20s and 30s, Hooker wrote music and lyrics for shows such as June Love (1921), which had only 48 performances at the Knickerbocker Theatre, with Else Adler in the title role. Hooker wrote lyrics to Rudolf Friml’s music and the book was by Otto Harbach and William H. Post. Other early 20s shows include Marjolaine (1922), with Hooker again writing lyrics, Our Nell (1922), for which he wrote the book. He also wrote the script for a 1923 revival of the play, Cyrano De Bergerac, which ran for 232 performances at the National Theatre and used music from Walter Damrosch’s opera, Cyrano. The play starred Walter Hampden in the title role and also featured Carroll McComas as Roxane. Hooker contributed lyrics to Gilbert’s Engaged (1925), which was written by W.S. Gilbert and in the cast of which was Antoinette Perry, some years before her name was given to the Tony Awards. He wrote lyrics to Friml’s music for The Vagabond King (1925), among which were ‘Only A Rose’, ‘Love Me Tonight’ and ‘Song Of The Vagabonds’. Hooker also co-wrote the show’s book with Post and Russell Janney. In 1926 came another revival of Cyrano De Bergerac, this one at Hampden’s Theatre, where it ran for 96 performances. For this version, which again starred Hampden, with Marie Adels as Roxane, Hooker’s English-language version of Edmond Rostand’s work was written in verse. He wrote the Prologue for a 1926 play, Mozart, and book and lyrics for White Eagle (1927). In 1928 his translation was the basis for yet another production of Cyrano De Bergerac.

In the 30s, Hooker wrote the book for Through The Years and lyrics for Chamberlain Brown’s Scrap Book (both 1932), both of which had very short runs, and also in 1932 back came his version of the ever-popular Cyrano De Bergerac. With Janney, Hooker co-wrote the musical The O’Flynn (1934), which was based on Justin McCarthy’s novel. This show closed after only 11 performances. Hooker’s versions of Cyrano De Bergerac came back to Broadway in a production that ran from 27 April 1936 to June 1936 and again from 8 October 1946 to 22 March 1947. Song lyrics by Hooker were also used in a 70s revival in London of The Maid Of The Mountains.