Stage To Screen: Show Boat

Street corners. Tourist traps. Flatbed trailers. Any place is fair game for an entertainer to ply their craft as long as there's an audience. Or even if there isn't. When I was with the Continental Singers, we once did an impromptu mini-concert in an old folks' home in Nebraska while waiting for our bus's air … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Show Boat

End of an Era

Long before MGM put his story on the screen, Florenz Ziegfeld was dipping his toe into Hollywood. The first film he produced was 1917's The Land of Promise. Starring Billie Burke, the film is a straightforward story of farmers and romance. It's also, unfortunately, lost. Other films were takeoffs of his stage shows, such as Rio Rita or Whoopee.  Only … Continue reading End of an Era

The Man Behind the Curtain

While Broadway is considered the pinnacle of a performer's career, in the early twentieth century the Ziegfeld Follies were the pinnacle of Broadway. These lavish shows featured comedy acts, music, and dancing. Most famously of all, there were women in strategically skimpy and unusual costumes walking down stairs as if descending from heaven. To be … Continue reading The Man Behind the Curtain