She played opposite the Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera and hasn’t slowed down since
It opened fifty years ago and changed Broadway forever
Only in retrospect does it seem surprising that there were empty seats in the St. James Theatre the night Oklahoma! opened, on March 31, 1943.
The ceaseless clatter of cheap pianos from a mid-Manhattan side street was once music to all America
ONE DAY IN 1922 a young would-be composer named Richard Rodgers paid a call on Max Dreyfus, head of the publishing firm of T. B. Harms and dean of Tin Pan Alley.
Americans don’t hesitate to say anything they please about a public performance. But the right to do so wasn’t established until the Cherry Sisters sued a critic who didn’t like their appalling vaudeville act.
The year 1896 found Oscar Hammerstein in trouble. He was in debt, and the acts he had brought to Broadway weren’t doing well. He was desperate. “I’ve tried the best,” he is reported to have said. “Now I’ll try the worst.” So he sent for the Cherry Sisters.
The tremendous response to his radio shows led to standing-room-only theatre performances and cross-country tours, but Rudy Vallée claimed it was just good luck and timing.
One night in February, 1928, a technician from WABC, a pioneer radio station in New York City, finished adjusting his amplifying equipment in a nightclub at 35 East Fifty-third Street and signalled his readiness to the bandleader.