Ziegfeld Follies

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The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 through 1931. It became a radio program in 1932 and 1936 as The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air.

Promotional artwork for 1912 Ziegfeld Follies

Inspired by the Folies Bergères of Paris, the Ziegfeld Follies were conceived and mounted by Florenz Ziegfeld, reportedly at the suggestion of his then-wife, the entertainer Anna Held. The shows' producers were turn-of-the-century producing titans Klaw & Erlanger]].

Contents

History

The Follies were lavish revues, something between later Broadway shows and a more elaborate high class Vaudeville variety show. Many of the top entertainers of the era (including Eddie Cantor, Fanny Brice, Ann Pennington, Bert Williams, Will Rogers, Ruth Etting, Helen Morgan, Marilyn Miller, W.C. Fields, Ed Wynn, Nora Bayes, The Tiller Girls, and others) appeared in the shows. The Ziegfeld Follies were also famous for many beautiful chorus girls commonly known as Ziegfeld girls, which, over the years, included many future stars such as Marilyn Miller, Marion Davies, (who was William Randolph Hearst' mistress) Mae Murray, Paulette Goddard, Joan Blondell, Nita Naldi, Dorothy Mackaill, Eve Arden, Billie Dove, Gilda Gray, Barbara Stanwyck, and Louise Brooks. (Norma Shearer and Alice Faye were turned down by Ziegfeld for being "not up to standards".) The girls were usually decked in elaborate costumes by designers such as Romain de Tirtoff/Erté, Lady Duff Gordon or Ali Ben Hagan, which became the talk of Broadway the following day.

After Ziegfeld's death, his widow Billie Burke authorized use of his name for Ziegfeld Follies in 1934 and 1936. The name was later used by other promoters in New York City, Philadelphia and again on Broadway, with less connection to the original Follies. These latter efforts failed miserably. When later it toured, the 1934 edition was recorded in its entirety, from the Overture to Play-out music, on a series of 78 rpm discs, which were edited by the record producer David Cunard to form an album of the highlights of the production and which was released as a Compact Disc in 1997.

The 1936 Best Picture winner was The Great Ziegfeld, starring William Powell as the master showman. Co-starring Myrna Loy (as Ziegfeld's second wife Billie Burke), Luise Rainer (as Anna Held, which won her an Academy Award for Best Actress), and Frank Morgan (as a rival showman). Featuring numbers by Ray Bolger, Dennis Morgan, Virginia Bruce, and Harriet Hoctor, the film gave a glimpse into what the Follies were really like. The MGM blockbuster's show-stopper was "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody", which, by itself, cost more to produce than one of Ziegfeld's whole shows.

There was also a 1946 featuremotion picture entitled Ziegfeld Follies with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, William Powell, Gene Kelly, Fanny Brice, Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, Lucille Ball, Kathryn Grayson, and others performing songs and sketches similar to those from the original Follies.

The Follies

  • Follies of 1907 at the Winter Garden Theatre
  • Follies of 1908 at the Jardin de Paris
  • Follies of 1909 at the Jardin de Paris
  • Follies of 1910 at the Jardin de Paris
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1911 at the Jardin de Paris
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1912 at the Moulin Rouge (New York)
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920 at the New Amsterdam Theatre
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1921 at the Globe Theatre
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927 at the New Amsterdam Theatre
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1931 at the Ziegfeld Theatre
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1934 at the Winter Garden Theatre
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 at the Winter Garden Theatre
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1943 at the Winter Garden Theatre
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1957 at the Winter Garden Theatre

Performers: Year-By-Year

1907
  • Grace LaRue
  • Emma Carus
  • Harry Watson
  • Helen Broderick
  • Nora Bayes (joined cast at end of run)
1908
  • Nora Bayes
  • Grace LaRue
  • Mlle. Dazie
  • Harry Watson
  • May Mackenzie (as the Bandmaster
  • Miss Lillian Lee
1909
  • Lillian Lorraine
  • Bessie Clayton
  • Sophie Tucker
  • Nora Bayes
  • Jack Norworth
  • Eva Tanguay (joined cast in mid-run)
1910
  • Fanny Brice
  • Bert Williams
  • Lillian Lorraine
  • Anna Held (in a filmed sequence)
1911
  • Fanny Brice
  • Bert Williams
  • Dolly Sisters|The Dolly Sisters
  • Lillian Lorraine
  • Leon Errol
  • Vera Maxwell
  • Bessie McCoy
1912
  • Bert Williams
  • Elizabeth Brice
  • Leon Errol
  • Ray Samuels
  • Lillian Lorraine
  • Harry Watson
1913
  • Leon Errol
  • Frank Tinney
  • Jose Collins
  • Ann Pennington
1914
1915
  • Leon Errol
  • W.C. Fields
  • Ann Pennington
  • Ed Wynn
  • Bert Williams
  • Ina Claire
  • Olive Thomas
  • Justine Johnstone
  • Mae Murray
1916
  • Bert Williams
  • Fanny Brice
  • W.C. Fields
  • Ina Claire
  • Will Rogers
  • Ann Pennington
1917
  • Bert Williams
  • Fanny Brice
  • Eddie Cantor
  • Will Rogers
  • Dolores
  • William E. Ritchie
  • The Fairbanks Twins
1918
  • Eddie Cantor
  • W.C. Fields
  • Marilyn Miller
  • Ann Pennington
  • Lillian Lorraine
  • Frank Carter
  • Joe Frisco
  • Bert Savoy
  • Jay Brennan
  • The Fairbanks Twins
1919
  • Marilyn Miller
  • Eddie Cantor
  • Bert Williams
  • Eddie Dowling
  • John Steel
  • Johnny and Ray Dooley
  • Van and Schenck
  • The Fairbanks Twins
1920
  • Fanny Brice
  • W.C. Fields
  • Mary Eaton
  • Jack Donahue
  • Bernard Granville
  • Charles Winninger
  • Van and Schenck
  • Ray Dooley
  • Moran and Mack
  • Art Hickman's Orchestra
1921
  • Fanny Brice
  • W.C. Fields
  • Raymond Hitchcock
  • Van and Schenck
  • Anastasia Reilly
1922
  • Gallagher and Shean
  • Jack Whiting
  • Will Rogers
  • Mary Eaton
  • Olsen & Johnson
  • Gilda Gray
  • Nervo and Knox
  • Anastasia Reilly
1923
  • Fanny Brice
  • Bert Wheeler
  • James J. Corbett
  • Ann Pennington
  • Paul Whiteman
  • Anastasia Reilly (Summer Edition)
1924-25
  • Will Rogers
  • Ann Pennington
  • Frank Tinney
  • Lupino Lane
  • Ethel Shutta
  • Vivienne Segal
  • Ray Dooley (joined the cast later in run)
  • W.C. Fields (joined the cast later in run)
  • Louise Brooks
  • Dorothy Wegman
  • Anastasia Reilly
1927
  • Eddie Cantor
  • Cliff Edwards
  • Ruth Etting
  • The Brox Sisters
  • Clair Luce
  • Louise Brooks
  • Dorothy Wegman
  • Billie Burke
1931
  • Harry Richman
  • Jack Pearl
  • Ruth Etting
  • Helen Morgan
  • Hal LeRoy
  • Mitzi Mayfair
  • Albert Carroll
  • John Bubbles
1934
  • Fanny Brice
  • Jane Froman
  • Buddy Ebsen (with sister Vilma)
  • Eugene Howard
  • Willie Howard
1936
1943
  • Milton Berle
  • Arthur Treacher
  • Ilona Massey
  • Dean Murphy
  • Jack Cole
1956
  • Tallulah Bankhead
  • Carol Haney
  • Bea Arthur
  • Julie Newmar
1957
  • Beatrice Lillie
  • Jane Morgan
  • Billy DeWolf

Would you believe

Doris Eaton Travis will appear tomorrow in NYC at Barnes and Noble. At 106 years old, she is the last living Ziegfeld Girl from the original Follies.

Thursday April 29, 2010 7:00 PM
82nd & Broadway
2289 Broadway, New York, NY 10024, 212-362-8835

http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/3037787

See also

External links


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