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Ziegfeld Follies

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Title: Ziegfeld Follies  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of musicals: M to Z, Winter Garden Theatre, Follies, Mary Eaton, Nora Bayes
Collection: 1907 Musicals, Broadway Musicals, Dance Companies in the United States, Dance in New York City, Ziegfeld Follies
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ziegfeld Follies

Promotional artwork for 1912 Ziegfeld Follies
Sheet music for a song from the 1919 Ziegfeld Follies

The Ziegfeld Follies were a series of elaborate theatrical productions on Broadway in New York City from 1907 through 1931, with renewals in 1934 and 1936. They became a radio program in 1932 and 1936 as The Ziegfeld Follies of the Air.

Inspired by the Folies Bergère of Paris, the Ziegfeld Follies were conceived and mounted by Florenz Ziegfeld, reportedly at the suggestion of his then-wife, the entertainer Anna Held. The shows' producers were turn-of-the-twentieth-century producing titans Klaw & Erlanger.


  • History 1
  • Film 2
  • The Follies 3
  • Performers: year-by-year 4
  • Ziegfeld girls 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


The Follies were lavish Louise Brooks, Marilyn Miller, Ed Wynn, Gilda Gray, Nora Bayes, Sophie Tucker, and others) appeared in the shows.[1] The Ziegfeld Follies also were famous for many, beautiful chorus girls commonly known as Ziegfeld girls,[2] usually wearing elaborate costumes by designers such as Erté, Lady Duff Gordon or Ben Ali Haggin. The first Follies was produced in 1907 at the roof theatre Jardin de Paris.[3]

The Ziegfeld girls "paraded up and down flights of stairs as anything from birds to battleships." The "Tableau vivants" were designed by Ben Ali Haggin from 1917 to 1925. Joseph Urban was the scenic designer for the Follies shows starting in 1915.[4]

After Ziegfeld's death his widow, Billie Burke, authorized use of his name for Ziegfeld Follies in 1934 and 1936 to Jake Shubert, who then produced the Follies.[5] The name was later used by other promoters in New York City, Philadelphia, and again on Broadway, with less connection to the original Follies. These latter efforts failed miserably. When later it toured, the 1934 edition was recorded in its entirety, from the Overture to Play-out music, on a series of 78 rpm discs, which were edited by the record producer David Cunard to form an album of the highlights of the production and which was released as a Compact Disc in 1997.


New Amsterdam Theatre, New York

The 1936 Virginia Bruce, and Harriet Hoctor, the film gave a glimpse into what the Follies were really like. The MGM blockbuster's show-stopper was "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody", which, by itself, cost more to produce than one of Ziegfeld's whole shows.

In 1941 M-G-M released Ziegfeld Girl, starring Lana Turner, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, James Stewart and Tony Martin which was set in the 1920s. Although the word "Follies" was never used during the film, celebrated numbers from Ziegfeld Revues were recreated, including the famed "Wedding Cake" set which had been used for Metro's earlier film, The Great Ziegfeld. Charles Winninger, who performed in the Follies of 1920, appeared as "Ed Gallagher" with Gallagher's real-life partner, Al Shean to recreate the duo's famous song "Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Shean," originally part of the Follies of 1922. According to modern sources, Lana Turner's character was modeled after Ziegfeld Girl Lillian Lorraine who had a drunken fall into the orchestra pit during an extravagant number.[6]

In 1946 M-G-M released a third feature motion picture on Ziegfeld's shows entitled Ziegfeld Follies with Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, William Powell, Gene Kelly, Fanny Brice, Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse, Lucille Ball, Kathryn Grayson, and others performing songs and sketches similar to those from the original Follies. Brice appeared in the Follies for more than ten years and the 1968 Columbia release Funny Girl, which starred Barbra Streisand as Brice and Walter Pidgeon as Florenz Ziegfeld, depicts Brice's success with the Follies.

The Follies

One of the hits of the 1908 Follies, created by husband-and-wife team (and Ziegfeld performers) Jack Norworth and Nora Bayes. This recording was made a year later by Ada Jones and Billy Murray.

Problems playing this file? See .
Ziegfeld Follies 1914 Program

Performers: year-by-year

Ziegfeld girls

See also


  1. ^ "Flo Ziegfeld-Billie Burke Papers", accessed December 3, 2011
  2. ^ "Ziegfeld Biography", accessed December 3, 2011
  3. ^ "Follies of 1907"The New York Times, July 9, 1907
  4. ^ Green, Stanley."Ziegfeld"Encyclopedia of the Musical Theatre (1980), Da Capo Press, ISBN 0-306-80113-2, pp.462-465
  5. ^ Bloom, Ken."Winter Garden Theatre" The Routledge Guide to Broadway (2007), CRC Press, ISBN 0-415-97380-5, p. 273
  6. ^ Source: AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-1950. Entry for The Ziegfeld Girl.
  7. ^ a b c "Granville, Actor, Dies In Hollywood.".  
  8. ^ "William E. Ritchie, Trick Bicyclist, 70?. Vaudeville and Revue Artist Dies Here. Had Played With  

External links

  • Ziegfeld on
  • Ziegfeld Follies at Internet Broadway Database
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