Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway - download pdf or read online
By Eve Golden
" Anna Held (1870?-1918), a petite girl with an hourglass determine, was once America's hottest musical comedy famous person throughout the 20 years previous global conflict I. within the colourful international of latest York theater in the course of l. a. Belle Époque, she epitomized every little thing that was once glamorous, subtle, and suggestive approximately turn-of-the-century Broadway. Overcoming an impoverished lifestyles as an orphan to turn into a music-hall superstar in Paris, Held rocketed to status in the US. From 1896 to 1910, she starred in hit after hit and fast changed Lillian Russell because the darling of the theatrical international. the 1st spouse of mythical manufacturer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., Held was once the brains and notion in the back of his Follies and shared his knack for exposure. jointly, they introduced the Paris scene to big apple, whole with lavish costumes and units and a refrain of stunningly appealing ladies, dubbed ""The Anna Held Girls."" whereas Held was once recognized for a champagne snigger in addition to for her million-dollar checking account, there has been a darker aspect to her lifestyles. She hid her Jewish historical past and her daughter from a prior marriage. She suffered via her husbands' playing difficulties and Ziegfeld's blatant affairs with showgirls. With the outbreak of combating in Europe, Held back to France to help the struggle attempt. She entertained troops and brought scientific offers, and he or she used to be in brief captured via the German military. Anna Held and the delivery of Ziegfeld's Broadway unearths some of the most outstanding ladies within the historical past of theatrical leisure. With entry to formerly unseen kinfolk files and images, Eve Golden has exposed the main points of a unprecedented girl within the brilliant global of 1900s New York.
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Additional info for Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway
She was also shaped like a miniature hourglass, due less to her cinched-in waist than to the padded roundness of her hips and bust. H e r head was disproportionately large and looked larger because of the thick auburn hair piled loosely atop it. "She wore tiny dresses and tiny shoes," wrote Alan Dale. "She sang in a tiny voice and she spoke in a tiny voice. . '" Annas face was her fortune: It wasn't classically pretty, but cute and pert. She had good "stage bones," which caught the light well, and strong features that could be seen from the back row.
Oscar Hammerstein had opened a huge multitheater complex in 1895, at the "uptown" location of Broadway and Forty-forth Street. H e had to fill those theaters, and he and Ziegfeld agreed to team u p with an Englishlanguage version of the French farce La Poupee ( T h e Puppet). Anna was already familiar with La Poupee, having performed in a French-language version of it at the Theatre des Varietes. Portraying Alesia Hilarius, daughter of a toymaker, Anna posed as a living doll purchased by a novice monk who is forced by his uncle to marry.
W h i l e Anna H e l d and her parents had been struggling for a living in the slums of Europe, Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. was being raised in the lap of upper-middleclass luxury in Chicago, Illinois. H e was born on March 2 1 , 1867, making him perhaps a year or two older than Anna. H e was the eldest child of the Germanborn Florenz Ziegfeld Sr. and his French-born wife, Rosalie de H e z . By 1875 the family also included younger siblings Carl, William, and Louise. Ziegfeld Sr. , and finally opened the Chicago Musical Academy in 1867.
Anna Held and the Birth of Ziegfeld's Broadway by Eve Golden