Ziegfeld Follies 



Cette nouvelle édition des Ziegfeld Follies vécut sa première à Boston, puis fut présentée à partir du 14 janvier 1936 au Forrest Theatre de Philadelphie, avant d'être jouée, à partir du 30 janvier 1936, au Winter Garden de Broadway (New York), où elle connut 115 représentations, jusqu'au 9 mai 1936. Le spectacle fut repris du 14 septembre au 19 décembre 1936, mais J. B. y fut remplacée (vérifier).

J. B. était alors une star en Europe, mais elle ne bénéficiait pas d'une notoriété comparable au Etats-unis. Ce qui explique que son nom ne figure pas en haut de l'affiche… Fanny Brice en était la vedette. Pour J. B., l'accueil fut décevant, voire hostile. Et J. B. rentra en France, le cœur brisé… 

Au programme : Fanny Brice, Bob Hope, Joséphine Baker, The Nicholas Brothers, Eve Arden, Gertrude Niesen, Gypsy Rose Lee (remplacement), Bobby Clark (remplacement), … et 100 ZIEGFELD GIRLS .....

  • Musique : Vernon Duke ("Garrick Gaieties", "Ziegfeld Follies", "At Home Abroad", "Cabin in the Sky", "Jackpot", "The Littlest Revue", "Sadie Thompson", "Two's Company").
  • Paroles : Ira Gershwin ("Girl Crazy", "Lady, Be Good!", "Oh, Kay!", "Funny Face", "Rosalie", "Of Thee I Sing", "Porgy and Bess", "Lady in the Dark").
  • Saynètes : David Freedman.
  • Directeur musical : John McManus.
  • Décors et Costumes : Vincent Minnelli.
  • Costumes additionnels : Raoul Pène Du Bois.
  • Chorégraphie : Georges Balanchine, Robert Alton.
  • Mise en scène : John Murray Anderson.
  • Production : Billie Burke Ziegfeld et Messrs. Shubert (Lee and J. J.).

Paris Soir, 1er janvier 1936

Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, phot. Hulton Archive.

Programme du spectacle au Winter Garden


Programme de cette nouvelle édition au Forrest Theatre, Philadelphie


Programme-Souvenir (12 pages), Forrest Theatre, Philadelphie 


Le spectacle


J. B. dansant la Conga

A. Van Jordan - 1965

Time Reviews

The Ziegfeld Follies Featuring Josephine Baker, 1936

Before, we pictured her without diamonds,
Without sequined gowns and a face of paint.
We could see that this show was not the time
For a lithe St. Louis girl of her race
To flaunt her flanks in front of New York men.
How could she expect us to find applause,


When we had saved to throw coins of applause
To Fanny Brice (1), our star, a diamond
On a stage of lights ? Besides, what these men
Wanted was a dream well drawn beyond paint,
Not a life-size black doll flaunting her race
And wares as if this were her place and time.


Parisian and brown ? This was not the time
For a poor Negro girl to find applause
When she had given up her one true race 
America — for filthy France. Diamonds
Draped from her neck and ears, but even paint
Chips on the wrong surface. A street woman


Posing as a lady — please. Petty men
Could appreciate her dance, which was timed
To a beat of rags and old iron. Paint
The picture true, and let’s save the applause
For patriots — Eve Arden, a diamond,
And Bob Hope, a charm — not this girl with race


On her hips and tongue. The spice of race
Can be sweet or tart ; the lips of the man
Who tastes will be surprised. To think diamonds
Will clear the palate is a waste of time.
Sure, we gave Princess Tam Tam (2) an applause,
Even if she mumbled through songs and paint,


Even when she would cry and run her paint,
We listened. This is not about her race
But her choice of song, her need for applause
That would outshine Fanny Brice. Any man
Would give her a break, but the place and time
Was not this night. Yes, Brice was our diamond.




They want bananas on hips, not diamonds
On my décolletage. I’m under the paint,
Sinews dancing through segregated time ;
It’s not all about jazz or even race.
Fanny Brice’s bland version of “My Man,” (3)
In smoke-filled bars couldn’t steal an applause,


So how do they think she deserves applause
On Broadway under lights and with diamonds
Dangling from her dewlap ? I got a man,
He stays with me when I take off the paint,
And he doesn’t care about this whole race
Hoopla; he loves Josephine for me. Time


Magazine just started taking the time
To acknowledge Negroes, and now applause
From them is supposed to predict racial
Equality on stage ? Talent ? Diamonds
Determine my success. They can go paint
Broadway as white as they please, all the men


On the Champs will tell you I’m the woman
By which they measure others; only Time
Had a problem with my act, when the paint
Comes off, that’s all it comes down to : applause
From friends not foes. Just look at this diamond
On my hand from my Pepito (4) ; does race


Refract in its eye, or light ? You see race
is not real, only light and love ; no man,
Negro or white, can change that. The diamond
Holds so much truth because it endures time ;
It struggles through nothingness for applause ;
It holds its breath, dark, naked without paint


Or the benefit of believing paint
Will change things because she is the same race
As coal underneath it all. And applause
Is just some dream. At times, even my man
Who, after all, is white, doesn’t see time
And again how I’m merely a diamond


Trying to catch some light under the paint. Man,
I’m telling you, race problems will change with time,
Long after applause and this diamond’s light fades.


[Source : poets.org]

(1) Fanny Brice, the longtime star of the Ziegfeld Follies, was known for her talents as a comedienne as well as a singer.

(2) Princess Tam Tam was a film starring Josephine Baker, produced in 1935.

(3) “My Man” was a popular song written by Maurice Yvain as “Mon Homme.” Later, the English lyrics were written by Channing Pollock for the Ziegfeld Follies.

(4) Pepito was Josephine Baker’s fiancé from 1935–1936. He died of cancer before she completed the run of the Ziegfeld Follies.

For the Ziegfeld Follies, Murray Korman, 1936

Raoul Pène Du Bois (1912-1985), Projet de costume, probablement pour Joséphine Baker, dans les Ziegfeld Follies de 1936

Ajouter un commentaire


luc nemeth
il y a 2 ans

Paris-Soir n'exagérait aucunement, en disant que la voix de Joséphine s'était beaucoup améliorée. On en possède la preuve avec les 78 tours "Sous le Ciel d'Afrique" et "Espabilate" qui furent gravés par French Columbia le 29 septembre 1935 soit... trois jours, avant qu'elle n'embarque sur le 'Normandie' !

Merci pour ces précisions.

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