“A tiny flat near Soho Square”: Rodgers and Hart’s Lido Lady (1926)

Symonds, Dominic (2011) “A tiny flat near Soho Square”: Rodgers and Hart’s Lido Lady (1926). In: Song, Stage and Screen VI: Innovation and Creative Collaboration, 20 - 23 June 2011, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The mid-1920s marks a real turning point in the long collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Although they had been working together since 1919, contributing to college shows and jobbing for producer Lew Fields, it was not until the overnight success of ‘Manhattan’ in 'The Garrick Gaieties' of 1925 that Rodgers committed his career to Broadway. The pair subsequently collaborated on over 25 shows, and it is in their early collaborations—which Gerald Mast refers to as ‘playfully inventive’ shows (165)—that their innovative style was developed and explored. Their prodigious output from the late-1920s—which includes 'Dearest Enemy', 'The Girlfriend', 'Betsy', 'Peggy-Ann', 'Present Arms', 'Lido Lady', 'Chee-Chee' and others—is little known. This paper will examine 'Lido Lady', which—unusually for these American collaborators—opened in the UK, previewing at Bradford Alhambra (and Portsmouth’s King’s Theatre) before opening at the Gaiety Theatre in the West End on December 1st 1926. I will consider how this show fits into Rodgers and Hart’s wider oeuvre, building on Geoffrey Block's work on Richard Rodgers (2003, 2006), and Graham Wood's important study of Rodgers' use of song construction in 'Dearest Enemy' and 'A Connecticut Yankee' (2000). My research will make use of papers from the Lord Chamberlain’s collection at the British Library, original recordings made in the wake of the show by the original cast, and materials from the theatre collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Keywords:Rodgers and Hart, Lido Lady (1926), Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Broadway, Musical Theatre
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W310 Musicianship/Performance studies
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
ID Code:22452
Deposited On:09 Mar 2016 14:37

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