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BuzzThe Life and Art of Busby Berkeley$
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Jeffrey Spivak

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813126432

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813126432.001.0001

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The Figurehead

The Figurehead

Chapter:
(p.272) 17 The Figurehead
Source:
Buzz
Author(s):

Jeffrey Spivak

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813126432.003.0018

Harry Rigby, the Broadway producer, loved the films of Busby Berkeley. Harry didn't have a project in mind, but he had Buzz Berkeley on the brain. Buzz signed an agreement with Rubin and Rigby productions on February 25, 1970, as director and choreographer for the revival of No, No, Nanette. Buzz later persuaded Ruby Keeler to join him. After shortcomings of Buzz, Cyma Rubin tapped Burt Shevelove to replace him. However, she couldn't totally remove him because of the prestige and reputation that he brought. Fortunately, the audience was enthralled with the show. In some reviews, Shevelove wasn't even mentioned as they deferred instead to the show's figurehead. On February 3, 1973, No, No Nanette closed on Broadway after 861 performances. Busby Berkeley's contribution to the play remained largely misunderstood, but it made good “nostalgia triumphs” copy for the public and the press.

Keywords:   Harry Rigby, Busby Berkeley, Ruby Keeler, Cyma Rubin, Burt Shevelove, No Nanette

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