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We’ll Have ManhattanThe Early Work of Rodgers & Hart$
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Dominic Symonds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199929481

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199929481.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 December 2021

Big Fish

Big Fish

Peggy-Ann (1926), Ziegfeld, and a Flop Called Betsy (1926)

Chapter:
(p.167) 6 Big Fish
Source:
We’ll Have Manhattan
Author(s):

Dominic Symonds

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199929481.003.0007

By now Rodgers and Hart were the busiest writers on Broadway. When two shows came up at once it didn’t worry them a bit. Yet where they scored a hit with Peggy-Ann, which was another Fields success, their first commission from Florenz Ziegfeld, called Betsy, proved disastrous. This chapter explores Peggy-Ann’s fusion of psychoanalysis and expressionism, then turns to the star vehicle Betsy, written for Belle Baker. Both productions show aspects of the team’s developing style, but where they reveled in Peggy-Ann, Belle Baker’s interpolation of an Irving Berlin hit, “Blue Skies,” into her show infuriated them. As tempers flared between Rodgers and Ziegfeld, their egos begin to emerge, and Rodgers’s thoughts are followed through his letters home to Dorothy. He would later take complete production control over his work with Hammerstein; perhaps that was a result of working with the demanding Flo.

Keywords:   Herbert Fields, Lew Fields, Florenz Ziegfeld, Belle Baker, Helen Ford, Dorothy Rodgers, Peggy-Ann, Betsy, Irving Berlin, Blue Skies

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