Hoyt, Charles H(ale)
- Gerald Bordman
(b Concord, NH, July 26, 1860; d New York, NY, Nov 20, 1900). American librettist, lyricist, and producer. He studied law and worked on a western cattle ranch before becoming a writer for the Boston Post. He then began to write plays, achieving success with A Bunch of Keys (1883) and A Rag Baby (1884), the latter of which was produced by Tony Pastor. Both works were farce-comedies. Though in Hoyt’s hands these rather simplistically conceived shows, with their thin plots and their reliance on existing musical material, were transformed into recognizable musical comedies; he wrote full-length librettos and assigned a single composer to write a basic score (though still allowed for the traditional practice of interpolating of songs). He also preferred to write on American subjects. In collaboration with such composers as Edward Solomon, Percy Gaunt, and Richard Stahl, Hoyt produced a series of popular shows which included A Parlor Match (1884), A Tin Soldier (1886), A Brass Monkey (1888), and A Trip to Chinatown (1891). The last was his greatest success, and its run of 657 performances remained unsurpassed for 30 years; the show included Gaunt’s popular songs “The Bowery and Reuben and Cynthia,” and the well-known interpolation by Charles K. Harris, “After the Ball.” Subsequent productions included the satirical A Temperance Town (1893), A Milk White Flag (1894), A Black Sheep (1896), A Contented Woman (1897), and A Day and a Night in New York (1898). By the late 1890s, however, Hoyt was displaying signs of mental instability, and he died shortly after being committed to an asylum.
- D.C. Dickinson: The Life and Work of Charles H. Hoyt (Nashville, TN, 1945)