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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 Girl at the Top of the Stairs

The Girl at the Top of the Stairs

(p.115) 6 The Girl at the Top of the Stairs
Ziegfeld and His Follies

Cynthia Brideson

Sara Brideson

University Press of Kentucky

The 1912–1913 theater season marks a new chapter in Ziegfeld’s life, both professionally and personally. First, the Follies move to their permanent home at the prestigious New Amsterdam Theatre. The shows are becoming increasingly modern, showcasing the latest dance trends and even setting some of them. Ziegfeld’s personal life reaches its lowest ebb when he becomes embroiled in two fights with Lorraine’s other beaux. Lorraine leaves Ziegfeld’s employ, and their relationship is never again a romantic one. The upturn in Ziegfeld’s personal life occurs when he meets Broadway star Billie Burke. Drawing from Burke’s memoirs, newspaper articles, and daughter Patricia Ziegfeld’s memoir, the chapter details Burke’s history, her rise from London music halls to the Broadway stage, and her immediate infatuation with Ziegfeld. Ziegfeld sees Billie as his new ideal: a girl who combines modernity with old-fashioned charm. This is precisely the combination Ziegfeld wants to use in his shows, and Burke inspires him to continue honing his Follies.

Keywords:   Billie Burke, Lillian Lorraine, New Amsterdam Theatre

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