What to Expect this week?!
Binder Check of last week
Abbreviated version of the 1930s...
– Not the most exciting time for Broadway
Pros and Cons of Broadway during this time
Pros and Cons of Hollywood
Influence of Technology on the musical and movies
Whos Who in Hollywood/Broadway?!
Setting up a study of Wizard of Oz
Where did we leave off?
Ziegfeld produced Showboat
Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein, II
teamed up to write Showboat
542 performances at the Ziegfeld theatre
Ziegfeld is making a lot of money and so are
his associates. (Kern; Hammerstein, II;
What do you already know about
this time period?! 1928s-1939s?
What is happening Nationally?
First Transatlantic telephone call from NYC to London
FCC begins to regulate radio frequencies
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded
Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic
New York Yankees beat the Pirates in the World Series
The Jazz Singer opens ushering in the era of dialogue and song in film
The Holland Tunnel joins New York and New Jersey
Prohibition is enforced and eventually repealed
Jazz Music is coming into mainstream
FDR is elected president
The Great Depression arises from the Stock Market Crash of 1929
What is changing in the world?
Technology – telephones, aviation, roads,
Scope of the world....it’s a beginning to be a
small world after all
So How’s Broadway During this
Remember Ziegfeld? He made money enough to get through the
Depression but that was about it. He had a lot of debt following the
Depression and sold off much of his clientele to keep him afloat, his
second wife and child would eventually inherit his estate. His second
wife was Billie Burke, remember this name!!
Most theatres turned to showing “talkies” aka movies during this time
as they were financially more stable and cheaper for audiences to
afford....even the New Amsterdam Theatre (former home of the
Ziegfeld Follies went this route)
This is time period is a Golden Age, but not for Broadway? What
Golden Age was this for?
The Stats on Broadway
Between 1927 and 1928 (The year before the
Stock Market Crash) there were a record 264
productions on Broadway
Between 1930-1931 (the first year of the Great
Depression) there were 187.
During the Depression there were 5,000 Equity
Actors and 20,000 theater artists looking for work
So Who are we going to be talking
Cole Porter - Songwriter/Lyricist
Ethel Merman - Actress Performer
George Gershwin - Composer, Songwriter
Busby Berkeley – Director/Choreographer
Gene Kelley – Actor, Dancer, Singer
Shirley Temple – Child Star
Al Jolson - Blackface Actor and Comedian
Billie Burke – Glinda, 2nd wife of Florenz Ziegfeld
Bert Lahr – Cowardly Lion
Jack Haley – Tin Man
Ray Bolger – Scarecrow
Judy Garland - Dorothy
What are we going to be talking
The competition to Broadway, aka Hollywood
The positive and negative effects of Hollywood on
various Vaudeville/Broadway entertainers
Influence of technology on the entertainment
Movie clips from The Jazz Singer to The Wizard of
The Jazz Singer
Featuring Al Jolson and released in 1927
Won an oscar for being the first “talkie” picture which revolutionized the industry
Produced by Warner Bros. studios and premiered at the Warner Theatre in New York on
Irving Berlin’s song “Blue Skies” premiered by Jolson on Screen
Cost $422,000 to make and grossed $2.6 million
A decent profit for the day considering that most theatres were not wired to use
Vitaphone - The technology that was used to synchronize sound and dialogue to movies
Toot, Toot, Tootsie
Born in Lithuania in 1883
True name: Asa Yoelson
Started on vaudeville and known for his blackface
Became “The World’s Greatest Entertainer”
Starred in The Jazz Singer which launched him to
Dies in 1950, his life rode the success and death
of Vaudeville and the golden age of Hollywood
Remember the Stats? 20,000 Broadway entertainers out
People were desperate for work and traveled to places that
could offer them jobs
With the rise of Hollywood, movies provided the demand
for the best Broadway talent.
Due to increases in technology the film industry was able
to create higher profit margins thus could afford to pay for
the best talent from Broadway
Broadway and Hollywood
Pass out pg. 132-134
Pros to going to Hollywood?
Producers offering $$$$$$$$$$$$$...$$$
Weather verrrrryy nice!
:o) temps are nice
Sound movies revolutionizing industry
Cons to going to Hollywood?
Nothing is promised
Hard to get out there due to Depression
Limited creative freedom of writers and
Limitation of cameras
Does/Did Broadway need Hollywood
or does/did Hollywood need
Born in Los Angeles to a family of performer’s in 1895
Mother was a stage actress
Served in the military during World War I where it is thought his choreographic
inspiration came from
After WWI he was a dance choreographer for Broadway including A
Worked for MGM, Universal, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox
His style was in complex geometric shapes and over-the-top photography
His films were known to start on a stage but through camera manipulation
seemed to expand beyond what the camera could show
Was one of the first directors/choreographers to show the “Magic” of movies
Married six times but lived to the ripe ole’ age of 80
Busby in Action!
Clip By a Waterfall
Filthy-Rich or “Rich-Rich” as he liked to say
Born into a rich family in Peru, Indiana and given a considerable inheritance though often
endangered this financial stability by defying his parents and grandparents by pursuing a
Attended Yale and wrote the school fight song while there
After a brief stint writing for Broadway went to France where he served in the Foreign
He wrote a lot of French songs while there and also met Linda Lee Thomas, considered
to be the most beautiful women in Europe.
They marry but the unusual thing is that they were both homosexuals.
Though deeply in love Linda overlooked the affairs as long as the men in Cole’s life were
I. Berlin Brings Cole Back
Porter and Thomas lived a lavish life in Europe
Irving Berlin needed Cole Porter though because Berlin
wanted to marry Ellin Mackay. Her father disapproving of
Berlin used to date Linda Lee Thomas (now Linda Porter).
Linda Porter got Mr. Mackay to agree to Berlin marrying
Berlin than recommends Porter to write the latest
Broadway musical Paris and it immediately is succesful
Porter and Sex
Porter makes Sex safe for 1930s Broadway
Though subtlety was not his thing, he wrote
songs titled: “Let’s Do It,” “Love for Sale”
“Gay Divorce,” and one of his biggest hits
To Sum up he is the most successful
composer-lyricist of the of the 1930s!
“You’re the Top”
Track by Cole Porter
We’re off to see the Wizard!
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a book written by L.
Frank Baum written in 1899 and released in 1900.
It was adapted into a stage musical between 1902 and
1903 and was performed in the Grand Opera House of
Chicago and the Majestic Theatre in New York. (Yes
musical’s existed prior to Ziegfeld)
What is currently playing at the Majestic and has been
You guys tell me!
Kansas Role Oz Role(s) Actor/Actress
Hunk Scarecrow Ray Bolger
Hickory Tin Man Jack Haley
Zeke Cowardly Lion Bert Lahr
Wicked Witch of the
Miss Almira Gulch Margaret Hamilton
Professor Marvel e Wizard's Frank Morgan
Ranked in the 10 best movies of all time
The most watched film in history
Only three oscars in 1939
– Best Score and Best Song “Over the Rainbow”
– Best Juvenille Actor Award to Judy Garland, the only
one of her career
– The competition was stiff though....Gone With the Wind
also was released in 1939
Special Effects for 1939
Technicolor!! – The original story had Dorothy wearing silver slippers but Ruby Red
translated better to Technicolor
Technicolor also required a lot of LIGHTS!! The Set regularly rose to over 100
Costuming and sets were nearly unbelievable for the time and a pain for the actors
Jack Haley received an eye infection from his make-up and was toxic if ingested
The cast was often told they could not eat in make-up though they would be in make-up
from 5am to 8pm
Margaret Hamilton had a liquid diet because she could not eat in make-up due toxic
It took 12 months to teach Toto how to run along side the characters
Fire on set....Margaret Hamilton suffered severe burns in an accidental malfunction of a
trap door in her 2nd take on the Escape from Munchkinland
Buddy Ebsen was severely hospitalized in an iron lung due
to the Tin Man make-up. He was re-cast by Jack Haley.
Its okay, he later went on to play Jed Clampett on The
W.C. Fields was originally cast as the Wizard but was later
recast due to his inability to negotiate a contract
Gale Sondergaard was originally cast as the Wicked Witch
but turned down the part three days prior to shooting due
to the role changing from a sly and beautiful witch to one
more indicative of The Wicked Witch from Snow White.
Margaret Hamilton was then given the role
Born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 1922
Her parents were vaudeville theater owners and managed the act entitled the “Gumm Sisters” later
changed to the “Garland Sisters” through 1935 on vaudeville and the screen
Judy was signed to MGM studios at the age of 13. At this point she was considered too old to be a
child star and too young to be a leading lady
Very self-conscious about her appearance as she went to school with Ava Gardner, Lana Turner, and
Elizabeth Taylor...beauties of the age.
She was referred to be MGM executives as their “little hunchback.”
To keep up with the frantic pace of Hollywood young stars like Garland were given amphetamines and
barbiturates before bed...this later led to addiction
She was cast in the Wizard of Oz at the age of 16 beating out Shirley Temple for the role as 20th
Century Fox was unwilling to loan Temple to MGM
Remember the costuming issues....well they had to make her look younger and had her wear corsets
and fabrics that would hide her curves.
Between 1940-1947 Garland appeared in eight more movies making the transition from
child star to film actress
Following her time with MGM she later went on to be a major recording artist, touring
singer, and even had a TV series.
Throughout this time she constantly wrestled with drug addiction and unhappy marriages
Garland died in 1969 at the age of 47 from an accidental drug overdose though she was
also suffering from cirrhosis of the liver at the time
She had appeared in over 41 movies, 7 television series, and 16 concerts
Her daughter, Liza Minnelli (64), gives the Garland family the distinction as the only film
family to have all won academy awards. Her father won for best director (Gigi), her
mother for best juvenile actress (Wizard of Oz), Liza won for best actress (Cabaret).
Ray Bolger (Scarecrow/Hunk)
Born in 1904 in Dorchester, Massachusetts
In this suburb of Boston he was inspired by
the many Vaudeville shows he saw and
became a vaudeville entertainer
Mr. Riley grew up only an hour a way from
where he was born.
Signed by MGM in 1936 from Vaudeville and Broadway. He was
definitely a triple threat due to his ability to sing, act, and dance.
Appeared in 3 other movies prior to the Wizard of Oz including the first
MGM movie in technicolor (Sweethearts) with future Oz co-star Frank
Morgan – Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz
Contract with MGM lasted until 1946 in which he then signed with RKO
productions where he had a long and fairly successful television career
as a guest star and also Broadway entertainer where he won a Tony
for Best Leading Actor in the musical Where’s Charlie?
Stayed great friends with Margaret Hamilton and even gave the eulogy
at her funeral
Born in 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio
She was drawn to acting at a very early age
Became a teacher first but soon turned exclusively to
Always had a life-long love for children
Her appearance was in stark contrast to the typical
Hollywood glamour girl
She never signed herself to any one studio
She charged $1000 a week for her services
She worked as much as possible to support her
and her one son
Prior to The Wizard of Oz she was cast primarily
as a plain character actress who would be more of
the intolerant grandmother character on screen
Producers actually cut some of the scenes from the movie
as they were deemed too wicked for children to see
Hamilton often worried about her part and the effect it had
on children...after all she loves children
Appeared on episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood after
filming to speak with children about how make-up defines
the witch and that isn’t who she really was.
Had 39 principal stage roles in theater including Showboat (1966 Lincoln
Center Revival) and Oklahoma!
Produced 3 stage productions
Appeared in 3 major tours including “Annie Get Your Gun”
Had consistent TV appearances after Oz from What’s My Line? to The
Addams’ Family, to As the World Turns.
Spokeswoman for Maxwell House Coffee
Served on the Beverly Hills Board of Education
Passed away of a heart attack in 1985
Oz Through the Ages
The Wizard of Oz has been a timeless story that has
effected all generations of stage and screen throughout the
Recently Oz has come back to Broadway in the form of a
spin-off story/prologue of L. Frank Baum’s book.
Wicked: The Life and Times of The Wicked Witch of the
West by Greogory Maguire has become one of the best
known book musicals of the 21st century and has brought
the land of Oz back to the stage via Wicked for a new
generation to appreciate!
Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz
Book/Libretto: Winnie Holzman
Basis: Gregory Maguire’s Novel
Currently the 18th longest running musical in
Nominated for 10 Tony’s and won three in
2004 for Best Actress, Scenic Design,
Synopsis: Courtesy Wikipedia
Wicked explores the concept that the Wicked
Witch of the West, here known as Elphaba, was a
misunderstood, victimized person whose behavior
was merely a reaction against a charlatan wizard's
corrupt government. It also shows her relationship
with the beautiful and ambitious Galinda Upland,
who ultimately becomes Glinda the Good Witch of
the North. Through the show, their friendship
struggles to endure extreme personality conflicts,
opposing viewpoints, rivalry over the same love-
interest, and Elphaba's eventual fall from grace.
Music: Defying Gravity
In Wicked, the song is the finale for the show's first act,
when Elphaba discovers that The Wizard of Oz is not the
heroic figure she had originally believed him to be.
Realizing this, and despite Glinda's attempts to dissuade
her, Elphaba vows to do everything in her power to fight
the Wizard and his sinister plans against the Animals of
Oz. She sings of how she wants to live without limits, going
against the rules that others have set for her. During the
song, Elphaba enchants a broomstick to levitate and,
pursued by the Wizard's guards, rises from the stage
above the angered citizens of Oz, who try in vain to "bring
Where are we going from here?!
Not too far quite honestly
However the glory days of Hollywood are coming to an end and the
nation’s economy are starting to turn for the better again.
The time period now is 1940 through 1960
WWII is about to break out and American sentiment is going to return
to New York City and bring about the 2nd Golden Age of Broadway
Musicals to be discussed will include:
- Oklahoma! The Music Man, West Side Story