Ziegfeld Follies of 1936

Opened at the Winter Garden Theatre, New York on January 30, 1936. 115 performances. Music by Vernon Duke. Lyrics by Ira Gershwin.  Sketches by David Freedman.  Staged by John Murray Anderson, Robert Alton, and George Balanchine. Produced by Mrs. Florenz Ziegfeld (Billie Burke) and the Messrs. Shubert (Lee and J. J.). Cast included Fannie Brice, Josephine Baker, Gertrude Niesen, Harriet Hoctor, Eve Arden, Judy Canova, Bob Hope, and the Nicholas Brothers.

Ira Gershwin and Vernon Duke created a bright, witty, tuneful score for this edition of the ZIEGFELD FOLLIES, the second produced by the Shubert brothers after the death of Florenz Ziegfeld in 1932. The Duke/Gershwin songs — sung by the likes of Fannie Brice, Josephine Baker, Eve Arden, and Bob Hope — included one of Ira’s best-known, “I Can’t Get Started” (popularized by the trumpeter Bunny Berigan) and some of his funniest lyrics. A restored version of ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1936 was performed at City Center Encores! in 1999, followed by a recording, released on Decca Broadway in 2001.