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Ziegfeld and His FolliesA Biography of Broadway's Greatest Producer$
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Cynthia Brideson and Sara Brideson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813160887

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813160887.001.0001

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The Showman, the Strongman, and the Girl with the Eyes

The Showman, the Strongman, and the Girl with the Eyes

(p.9) 1 The Showman, the Strongman, and the Girl with the Eyes
Ziegfeld and His Follies

Cynthia Brideson

Sara Brideson

University Press of Kentucky

The book begins with Ziegfeld’s upbringing in Chicago and the early influences in his life, including his father’s classical music college, burlesque music halls, and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. His closeness with his mother and his difficulties with his father result in a lifelong preference for the company of women. The narrative explores Ziegfeld Sr.’s involvement with the 1893 World’s Fair, which leads the younger Ziegfeld to his career path as a producer-manager. He brings Eugen Sandow, a German strongman, to the fair and makes him a star. This chapter covers the early stages of Ziegfeld’s development as a showman and his sensational publicity tactics, which he uses to make his next discovery, a singer named Anna Held, a star. The chapter also analyzes the theater of the 1890s, including the early revues that inspired Ziegfeld, such as The Gaiety Girl and Florodora.

Keywords:   Eugen Sandow, Anna Held, Buffalo Bill, Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, Chicago Musical College

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