Ziegfeld's Broadway Productions
compiled by John Kenrick
The list below covers all of Ziegfeld's Broadway productions, with brief descriptions for all
of this musicals and operettas. When available, performance totals have been
included reliable figures for productions before 1900 are hard to come by.
For details on each edition of the Follies,
A Parlor Match - This was a musicalized version of the popular Evans and Hoey comedy
about a tramp who steals from a wealthy family starred its authors. This
best remembered as Anna Held's Broadway debut.
She made a special appearance in the second act as a "ghost" who
emerged to sing a few songs before leaving so the show could resume. It ran
for six weeks before a five city tour.
La Poupee - This comic opera involved a novice monk who plans to marry a
lifelike doll to gain his uncle's inheritance, but winds up marrying Anna Held
instead. A critical disaster, it closed after one week.
The French Maid - Anna Held played a hotel maid who contends with a bevy of
ardent suitors. Ran for less than a week.
The Turtle - A French comedy about a grocer and his wife who decide to
divorce but ultimately reconcile. A five month Broadway run was followed by a
Mlle. Fifi - Ziegfeld co-produced this comedy about a loving couple who divorce
in order to get at the wife's dowry. A three month Broadway run was followed by a
The Manicure - Ziegfeld co-produced this one-night flop comedy
involving a manicurist and the deputy sheriff who steps in when her business
Papa's Wife - Anna Held played a convent-raised wife who reforms her
philandering husband. The first show truly tailored to Held's unique style (and
her first show after seriously learning English), it was her first major hit,
running on Broadway for a over four months before a successful tour.
The Little Duchess (136 perfs) - Anna held was an actress who pretends she's a duchess
to escape her debts. Ran on Broadway for less just under four months.
The Red Feather (60 perfs) - An army captain finds that the female bandit he is
assigned to capture is really the countess he wants to marry. Starring Grace Van
Studdiford & George L. Tallman, it ran on Broadway for less than two months.
Mam'selle Napoleon (43 perfs) - Held starred as the lover of one of Napoleon's guards.
the Broadway run lasted just over a month.
Higgledy Piggledy (185 perfs) - Ziegfeld co-produced this Joseph Weber extravaganza
which featured Anna Held as a French woman contending with American tourists in
The Parisian Model (179 perfs) - Anna Held starred as a dressmaker's model who almost
loses her artist lover when she unexpectedly inherits a fortune. First
production to feature the sexy-but-respectable production numbers that became
Ziegfeld's trademark -- like "I'd Like to See a Little More of You,"
which had girls in an artist's studio seemingly strip bare behind easels, only
to step forward to reveal that they wore strapless gowns that tactfully reached
to their knees. The successful
Broadway run was followed by a blockbuster national tour.
Follies of 1907 (70 perfs)
The Soul Kiss (60 perfs) - A sculptor bets that he can remain faithful to his beloved.
Tempted by Lucifer, her loses the bet. Ran for just under four months.
Follies of 1908 (120 perfs)
Miss Innocence (176 perfs) - Freshly graduated from The School of Innocence, Anna Held goes in
search of her parents and falls in love with a soldier. Held's final (and most
production, it had a profitable six month Broadway run, followed by a two year
Follies of 1909 (64 perfs)
Follies of 1910 (88 perfs)
The Pink Lady (312 perfs) - A young man innocently takes his former
girlfriend Claudine to dinner and bumps into his fiancÚ. He introduces Claudine
as the wife of a local furniture salesman, setting of a series of mistaken
identities and deceptions. Ziegfeld co-produced this popular Vienesse-style
operetta by London composer Ivan Caryll, best remembered for its titular waltz. The long NY run broke
The Merry Widow's house record at The New Amsterdam Theater and was followed by a
very successful tour.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1911 (80 perfs)
Over the River (120 perfs) - Comedian Eddie Foy starred as a man who tells his wife his
upcoming stint in jail is really a trip to Mexico. Ziegfeld co-produced with
longtime friend/competitor Charles Dillingham.
A Winsome Widow (172 perfs) - A widow sets off a series of misunderstandings and
romantic entanglements at a restaurant. This successful update of the 1890s
hit A Trip to Chinatown featured the Dolly Sisters, Leon Errol, blackface
comic Frank Tinney, and Mae West.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1912 (88 perfs)
Ziegfeld Follies of 1913 (96 perfs)
Ziegfeld Follies 0f 1914 (112 perfs)
A number on "the good ship vaudeville" featured
in the 1915 Follies.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1915 (104 perfs)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic - The first of a late-night series
that Ziegfeld staged in The New Amsterdam's intimate rooftop theater. It
featured a glass runway that let the chorus girls parade over the audiences heads
Ziegfeld had them wear tasteful ankle-length linen bloomers. A genuine hit,
Ziegfeld produced a fully revised edition partway through the year.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1916 (112 perfs)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic - The Dolly Sister and Will Rogers were audience
favorites. Ziegfeld produced a fully revised edition partway through the year
featuring Eddie Cantor.
The Century Girl (200 perfs) - Ziegfeld co-produced this lavish revue
which included songs by both Irving Berlin and Victor Herbert. One of the few successful
shows to play the cavernous Century Theater.
Ziegfeld Folliesof 1917 (111 perfs)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic - Will Rogers
scored again. Ziegfeld produced a fully revised edition partway through the year
featuring Frank Carter and Frances White.
Miss 1917 (48 perfs) - Ziegfeld co-produced this attempt to follow up on the
success of the previous year's
Century Girl. A stellar line-up including comic Lew Fields, dancer Irene
Castle and drag comic Bert Savoy could not make up for weak material, and the
show closed after two and a half months.
Rescuing Angel (32 perfs) - Ziegfeld co-produced and Billie Burke starred in
this comedy about a woman who gives up the man she loves and marries a
millionaire for the sake of her impoverished family. In time she realizes
that she actually has fallen in love with her husband. The Broadway run
lasted just under a month.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1918 (151 perfs)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic - Will Rogers, Fanny Brice, Lillian Lorraine and
Bert Williams made this an all-star Frolic. Ziegfeld produced a fully revised
edition partway through the year featuring Brice, W.C. Fields and Bert Savoy.
By Pigeon Post (24 perfs) - This musical involved carrier pigeons
assisting the Allies in wartime France. Small wonder that it flopped.
Ziegfeld Nine O'Clock Frolic - The
Midnight Frolic was such a success that Ziegfeld initiated a second
Frolic, staged in the same theater atop the New Amsterdam. Fannie Brice,
Lillian Lorraine and Bert Williams were featured.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1919 (171 perfs)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (171 perfs) - Fanny Brice, W.C. Fields and Bert Savoy
returned from the previous edition. The finale had Frances White lead the
audience, stagehands and waiters in a shimmy dance.
Caesar's Wife (81 perfs) - Billie Burke starred in this drama about a British
diplomat's wife in love with her husband's secretary. In the end, she denies her
love out of duty to England.
Ziegfeld Girls of 1920 (78 perfs)
Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 (123 perfs)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (148 perfs) - Fanny Brice and W.C. Fields headlined another
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (135 perfs) - a fully revised but
less stellar edition.
Ziegfeld Nine O'Clock Revue - Also called
Ziegfeld Girls of 1920, it featured Fannie Brice, W.C. Fields and Lillian
Sally (570 perfs) - Marilyn Miller starred as a poor dishwasher
who goes on to stardom as a ballerina. The Jerome Kern score included "Look
For the Silver Lining."
Ziegfeld Follies 0f 1921 (119 perfs)
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (123 perfs) - Ziegfeld
produced two editions in 1921, but Prohibition and changes in popular taste kept
attendance down and made this the last regular year for the
Frolic. Ziegfeld would stage one further edition 1928.
Ziegfeld Nine O'Clock Frolic (29 perfs) - The last of Ziegfeld's
Nine O'Clock revues featured Virginia Bell and the Fairbanks Twins.
Intimate Strangers - Ziegfeld co-produced and Billie Burke starred
as a spinster wooed by a stranger when they are both stranded in a railroad
station for a night. Ran for just under three months.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1922 (541 perfs)
Rose Briar (89 perfs) - Billie Burke starred in this Booth Tarkington comedy
about an heiress who falls on hard times and becomes a cabaret singer. The
Broadway run lasted a dozen weeks.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1923 (233 perfs)
Kid Boots (479 perfs) - Eddie Cantor starred as an unscrupulous
Palm Beach golf caddie who uses crooked balls to make his rich clients look good
and sells bootleg liquor on the side. The most memorable song was the
Ziegfeld Follies of 1924 (520 perfs)
Annie Dear (103 perfs) - Billie Burke starred as a runaway bride who
masquerades as a maid. After a mixed critical reception, it ran for three
The Comic Supplement - W.C. Fields starred in this musical comedy about a
dysfunctional family. A major disappointment, it opened and closed in Newark.
Louie the 14th (319 perfs) - Leon Errol starred as an uncouth American who is
invited to be the 14th guest at a millionaire's dinner party. Disguised as a
rajah, his behavior gives him away. With music by Sigmund Romberg.
No Foolin' (108 perfs) - This incredibly lavish summertime revue was originally
planned as a Follies installment,
but an unsatisfied Ziegfeld renamed it, with the subtitle "Ziegfeld
American Revue of 1926." Although it was visually stunning, critics were
unimpressed. Longtime Ziegfeld collaborator Julian Mitchell was on hand as
assistant director, but fell ill during rehearsals and died on the opening
Betsy (39 perfs) - Belle Baker played a girl who's brothers
must find her a husband so their strict mother will let them marry their
sweethearts. The score by Rodgers & Hart contained no hits, and the
composers never got a penny of payment from Ziegfeld after the show flopped.
Rio Rita (494 perfs) - A Texas ranger (J. Harold Murray) tracking a
bandit in Mexico falls in love with the lovely Rita (Ethelind Terry). This
lavish production was the first to play The Ziegfeld Theater. Despite a
forgettable score, it packed the place for over a year.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 (168 perfs)
Show Boat (575 perfs) - Ziegfeld's greatest accomplishment, this epic
tale of love and loss on a Mississippi show boat featured music by Jerome Kern
and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Helen Morgan sang
"Can't Help Lovin' That Man" and "Bill," and score
included the hits "Make Believe" and "Ol' Man River." It
was the longest running book musical produced by Ziegfeld.
Rosalie (327 perfs) - A West Point cadet falls in love with a European princess
(played by Marilyn Miller) who cannot marry a commoner. When her country overthrows its
monarchy, true love wins out. The score featured songs by the Gershwins, P. G.
Wodehouse and Sigmund Romberg. The hit song: "How Long Has This Been Going
The Three Musketeers (319 perfs) - Rudolph Friml's stirring melodies were
the perfect match for the classic Dumas tale. Dennis King starred as D'Artagnan,
with Vivienne Segal as Constance. Hits songs included "Ma Belle" and
the showstopping title march.
Whoopee (407 perfs) - Eddie Cantor triumphed as a big city hypochondriac
who gets mixed-up in romantic shenanigans in the Wild West, and introduced "Makin'
Whoopee." Ruth Etting stopped the show with "Love Me or Leave
Me." Much of the cast traveled to Hollywood for the screen version.
Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic - In an all-out attempt to revive the
late-night Frolic series, Ziegfeld lined up Maurice Chevalier, Helen
Morgan, The Duncan Sisters, Lillian Roth and Paul Whiteman. Even so,
Prohibition-era audience interest was limited, and this final
Frolic was a financial disappointment.
Show Girl (111 perfs) - Ruby Keeler played a Brooklyn chorus girl who achieves stardom
in the Follies. The score by the Gershwins, Vincent Youmans and Gus Kahn
included "Liza," which Al Jolson sang to Keeler (his new wife) from
the audience on opening night. But without that bit of added drama, the show was
too weak to survive long.
Bitter Sweet (157 perfs) - Noel Coward's operetta about an 1870s London heiress
who runs off to Vienna to be with the musician she loves was a 647 performance hit in
London. But it had the misfortune to open just days after Wall Street crashed,
and despite rave reviews it barely managed a five month run. British soprano
Evelyn Laye starred, singing "I'll See you Again."
Simple Simon (135 perfs) - Ed Wynn played a modern shopkeeper who dreams he's among his
favorite fairy-tale characters. With the Depression in full swing, Wynn's
clowning and a score by Rodgers and Hart were not enough to attract audiences
for more than four months.
Smiles (63 perfs) - Marilyn Miller played a wartime orphan who eventually
falls in love with one of the soldiers who rescued her from deprivation. Even with
Fred and Adele Astaire as high society snobs and melodies by Vincent Youmans,
Smiles was roundly blasted by the critics.
Ziegfeld Follies of 1931 (164 perfs)
Hot-Cha! (119 perfs) - Bert Lahr and Lupe Velez starred in this tale of a New York
waiter who's Mexican vacation lands him in a bullring. Bawdy humor and a lackluster Brown-Henderson score did little to
Show Boat (Revival - 181 perfs) - Desperate and ailing, Ziegfeld re-united
most of the original stars, adding Paul Robeson to sing "Ol' Man River"
and Dennis King as Ravenal. Despite rave reviews, the
height of the Depression and high production costs made it impossible for this
lavish revival to turn a profit. Ziegfeld died during the run.
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