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Mitchell was perhaps the most prolific director of stage musicals in the history of Broadway theater. Between 1884 and 1925, he staged some eighty musicals. He was responsible for the premier production of Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland and the first production of the Ziegfeld Follies (he directed seven more shows in the series as well). He repeatedly worked with costume designer Caroline Siedle.
Mitchell had started as a dancer, and was a choreographer as well as a director. Most remarkably, he was deaf; he placed his ear on the rehearsal piano to hear the beats of the dances. One anecdote maintains that a stroke of thunder once sounded during a rehearsal, and Mitchell asked who was out of step.
- ↑ Dall Wilson, Alice Nielsen and the Gayety of Nations, Dall Wilson Music/Lulu.com, 2008; p. 125.