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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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Splendor and Intelligence

Splendor and Intelligence

(p.326) 18 Splendor and Intelligence
Ziegfeld and His Follies

Cynthia Brideson

Sara Brideson

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter explores the groundbreaking production of Show Boat and the golden age it ushered in for Ziegfeld. Included are detailed stories about the backstage drama, the composers’ efforts to complete the score, and new commentary from Broadway historians on the impact Show Boat had on Broadway. It had controversial themes and broke racial barriers by bringing black and white entertainers together on the same stage. Also, the show was not a star-driven production, meaning it could be revived again and again for generations to come. Meanwhile, Burke has decided to manage her own career, rather than relying on Ziegfeld to find properties for her. Ziegfeld enjoys more success with a witty musical comedy, Rosalie, which boasts a Gershwin score and Marilyn Miller as the star. The chapter ends with Ziegfeld planning more shows that will be as popular as his latest hits. Ziegfeld’s self-assurance reflects the national confidence Americans enjoyed in the late 1920s.

Keywords:   Show Boat, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein II, Norma Terris, Helen Morgan, Paul Robeson, Rosalie, George and Ira Gershwin, Marilyn Miller

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