Theatrical producer Florenz Ziegfeld introduced something new and exciting to the American musical stage in 1907. Featuring beautiful chorus girls and dazzling sets, his Follies of 1907, an extravagant musical revue, started an annual tradition that would last for 24 years, until his death.
Renamed The Ziegfeld Follies, the extraordinarily elaborate revues launched the careers of some huge stars, including Eddie Cantor and Ruth Etting. Cantor’s Broadway debut was in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1917 and Etting’s Broadway debut was in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927. Etting also starred in the very last year, the Ziegfeld Follies of 1931.
“Why ask if it’s good? Why ask how it compared with last year, or the year before or the year before that? Why attempt to classify it or criticize it? It’s the typical Follies-colorful, tuneful, dazzling, alternately excruciatingly funny and satisfyingly beautiful-and there you are.” — a Philadelphia critic
Ziegfeld also produced Show Boat (1927) and Bitter Sweet (1929).
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