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Saturday, August 10, 2013

My visit to the Zeigfeld Theater.

What dancer's life would be complete without a visit to the Zeigfeld Theater? It seems almost as important as visiting the Roseland or the Totem Pole. Since some of the great places are now impossible to visit, like the Old Totem Pole and the Rainbow Room, I have put the ones which I am able to visit on my bucket list.

The Zeigfeld  has been an item on my bucket list for several years now, and this summer I finally made a visit to the great Zeigfeld movie theater. The present day Zeiglfeld is the 2nd theater to bear the name, rebuilt as a tribute to the original Zeigfeld Theater. The lobby is filled with Zeigfeld history.

Here are some pictures that I took during my recent visit:
The display cases in the lobby have original costumes worn by the Zeigfeld girls.

But by far, the coolest artifact in the Zeigfeld lobby, is this invitation to see "Smiles".  The show is mentioned frequently in the book  "The Astaires", by Kathleeen Riley. Although the show was a flop,  "Smiles" combined  Marilyn Miller with very young Fred and Adelle Astaire. As far as I know, there is no known dance footage of Fred and Adele Astaire. But there is a news reel footage clip of Fred and Adele from this Broadway Show, Smiles. I've been searching Youtube for it and it seems impossible to find.

I think that's why "Smiles" is so important to dance history, and how cool is it that there's an old flyer invitation from Smiles in the Zeigled?

Internet rumors say that a sound newsreel clip exists of Fred, Adele, Marilyn
Miller and Florenz Ziegfeld together with a bunch of chorus girls and a piano player. It runs under one minute and is possibly  rehearsal footage. 78 records from Smiles are easy to find on Ebay.

A glass case with Marylin Millers dance shoes?

Eddie Cantor's gloves are also on display in the Zeigfeld Lobby.
Leaaving this lobby, one travels up by escalator to the Zeigfelds mezzanine level. The restrooms offer very clever shoe signs, outside the theater entrance.

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