- Becky Sharp
- Based on William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair, Langdon Mitchell's four-act play opened on 12 September 1899 at the Fifth Avenue Theatre for 116 performances starring Minnie Maddern Fiske, Maurice Barrymore, and Tyrone Power, despite attempts by the Theatrical Syndicate to prevent its opening. Syndicate honchos were angered that Mrs. Fiske and her husband, producer Harrison Grey Fiske, were attempting to break the Syndicate's monopoly. Mrs. Fiske played unscrupulous social climber Becky Sharp, who rises from poverty to high society via a secret marriage to Rawdon Crawley, although she also accepts financial aid from the Marquis of Steyne. When the two men learn of her deception, she manages to retain her social position by charming two other gentlemen. Mrs. Fiske, who had one of her greatest successes in Becky Sharp, revived the play in New York in 1904 and 1911, and frequently performed it on tour. She also appeared in a 1915 silent motion picture version called Vanity Fair, and under its original title Mitchell's play was one of the first all-color feature films in 1935. Remakes and television* productions have abounded and Becky Sharp was frequently revived on stages, including a short-lived 1929 production by The Players, directed by Dudley Digges.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.