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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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Ziegfeld Laughs … and Cries

Ziegfeld Laughs … and Cries

(p.342) 19 Ziegfeld Laughs … and Cries
Ziegfeld and His Follies

Cynthia Brideson

Sara Brideson

University Press of Kentucky

As this chapter begins, Ziegfeld produces an unlikely hit—an operetta of The Three Musketeers. Discussed are playwright William Anthony McGuire’s unprofessional, drunken behavior; backstage feuds; and Patricia’s propensity to fall in love with the leading men in her father’s productions. Ziegfeld’s production of Whoopee with Eddie Cantor is a phenomenal success and the producer’s fourth successive hit in the course of one year. Next he coproduces a film with Jesse Lasky, Glorifying the American Girl, although he still does not consider Hollywood a worthy rival. Ziegfeld reopens the Frolic, despite the fact that Prohibition is still in full swing. He then goes on to produce Show Girl and Noel Coward’s Bitter Sweet. The latter show gets a lukewarm reception, mainly because it opens the same week that the stock market crashes. Ziegfeld loses everything but continues to produce shows. His next one, Simple Simon, flops, and he seriously reconsiders his views on Hollywood. The chapter concludes with Ziegfeld planning to explore career possibilities on the West Coast. Thanks to talking films, musicals are booming in popularity.

Keywords:   The Three Musketeers, Whoopee, Show Girl, Simple Simon, Glorifying the American Girl, Maurice Chevalier, Eddie Cantor, Ed Wynn, crash of 1929, Ruby Keeler

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