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Babe Ruth & Ira Gershwin in 1934...



Item # 581634

August 28, 1934

THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 28, 1934

* Babe Ruth - New York Yankees
* Ira Gershwin' 'Life begins at 8:40' premiere

This 44 page newspaper has a five column headline on page 26:  "Yankees Rally to Turn Back the White Sox" with subhead: "PINCH HIT BY RUTH DEFEATS WHITE SOX" and more with photo of Ruth (see photos). Tells of Babe Ruth late in his career showing he still has what it takes to be the hero in a Yankee win.

Page 24 has a two column headline: "THE PLAY, 'Life Begins at 8:40; in Company of Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, Luella Gear and Frances Williams" which was the opening premiere of this musical involving Ira Gershwin.

Other news of the day throughout including various advertisements. Rag edition in great condition.

wikipedia notes: Life Begins at 8:40 is a musical revue with music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and E.Y. Harburg, and sketches by Gershwin, Harburg, David Freedman, H.I. Phillips, Alan Baxter, Henry Clapp Smith, and Frank Gabrielson.

When Harburg and Vernon Duke parted ways after clashing over Ziegfeld Follies of 1934, the lyricist invited Arlen, with whom he had written the hit tune "It's Only a Paper Moon," to collaborate on the revue. Arlen had been writing risqué numbers with Ted Koehler for The Cotton Club in Harlem and welcomed the opportunity to compose music for comedy songs in a mainstream production. The revue also proved to be a stepping stone in the career of Bert Lahr, whose previous experience had been limited to broad slapstick routines in burlesque shows. The actor's unique voice inspired Arlen and Harburg to write songs satirizing romantic and operatic stage clichés and helped Lahr evolve from a bumbling buffoon into an adept comic performer. Arlen later maintained "no one could write for him better than E.Y. and myself."

The original Broadway production opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on August 27, 1934 and closed on March 16, 1935 after a run of 237 performances. It was devised and staged by John Murray Anderson, choreographed by Robert Alton, and starred Ray Bolger, Brian Donlevy, Luella Gear, Frances Williams, Dixie Dunbar, and Esther Junger in addition to Lahr. Among those who contributed to the costume design were Raoul Pene Du Bois and Irene Sharaff.

Time called the production "the season's first first-rate entertainment."

Category: The 20th Century

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