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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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A Maelstrom of Mirth

A Maelstrom of Mirth

(p.74) 4 A Maelstrom of Mirth
Ziegfeld and His Follies

Cynthia Brideson

Sara Brideson

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines a major turning point in Ziegfeld’s professional and personal life: creation of the Follies. A large part of the Follies consists of comical skits, yet Ziegfeld cannot hide his disdain for comedy and comedians. Still, Ziegfeld succeeds in mastering both the revue format and the book musical, producing his most successful book musical yet, Miss Innocence. His shows are manifesting evidence of what will become known as the “Ziegfeld touch”—meticulous attention to artistic detail and the presentation of songs in a creative manner. The Follies introduces the classic tune “Shine on, Harvest Moon,” sung by chorine Lillian Lorraine, with whom Ziegfeld becomes infatuated. The chapter also discusses Held’s relationship with her daughter from a previous marriage, who comes to live with her and Ziegfeld in New York. The chapter goes on to discuss the Follies of 1908 and how women increasingly dominate both the show (especially Nora Bayes) and Ziegfeld’s life. Held, not knowing the extent of Ziegfeld’s infidelity with Lorraine, remains loyal to him.

Keywords:   Lillian Lorraine, Nora Bayes, Follies of 1907, “Shine on, Harvest Moon”

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