George White’s Scandals of 1922

Opened at the Globe Theatre, New York on August 28, 1922.  89 performances.  Music by George Gershwin. Lyrics by B. G. DeSylva and E. Ray Goetz.  Book by George White and W. C. Fields. Produced and staged by George White. Cast included Winnie Lightner, Jack McGowan, George White, W. C. Fields, Lester Allen, and Paul Whiteman’s Orchestra.

The SCANDALS OF 1922 included George Gershwin’s first attempt at a semi-operatic work, BLUE MONDAY, which he wrote with Buddy DeSylva over the course of five days shortly before opening night. George White was skeptical that BLUE MONDAY would fit in with the lighthearted revues he had been producing, and putting dollars before art, removed it from the show after its initial performance, but Paul Whiteman didn’t forget the work and had it reorchestrated a few years later as 135TH STREET.

The first-act closer, “(I’ll Build a) Stairway to Paradise” was the revue’s standout song, and was a featured number for Georges Guetary in the 1951 film AN AMERICAN IN PARIS.