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0001 - White Lights (1927)
Musique: J. Fred Coots
Paroles: Al Dubin • Dolph Singer
Livret: Leo Donnelly • Paul Gerard Smith
Production originale:
1 version mentionnée
Dispo: Génèse  Liste chansons  

Genèse: In theme and presentation (but not in quality), the critics compared White Lights (a self-described “unique musical comedy of Broadway”) to such recent nonmusical hits as Broadway (1926) and Burlesque (1927), and even to the recent flop Footlights. But not for an instant did anyone think White Lights was unique, and it quickly joined the season’s parade of fast-folding failures. The story looked at the world of nightclubs and Broadway, and the New York Times noted there wasn’t any “novelty” in the show’s clichéd characters: the blonde singer Polly, aka Jean Paige (Marian Marschante, who during the short run was succeeded by Gertrude Lang, who a month earlier had played the leading lady Babette in the flop Half a Widow) is from a good family and doesn’t belong in “this kind” of work; the “noble-hearted youth” Danny Miles (Sam Ash, who was succeeded by Sam Wren) is in love with Polly and is “God’s gift to the songwriting business”; the nightclub hostess Flossie Finch (Rosalie Claire) has what is “technically known as a heart of gold” about “two feet below her auburn tresses”; and a butter-and-egg man has lustful designs on Polly and is all too willing to help her up the ladder of show-business glory. So, the moneyman backs a big Broadway show that stars Polly, and during the premiere she collapses when she realizes Danny is in the audience and has heard her perform a “sacred” number he had written for her and her alone, one never intended for anyone’s ears but hers. But the Times reported that a brief coda “let it be known that everything’s going to be all right.” In many respects the evening was a series of presentational numbers rather than plot or character songs. There were seven unnamed specialty acts, and the Times indicated that at one point in the first act the action halted and gave way to a twenty-minute floor show at the nightclub The Monastery, which included dancers, contortionists, and “ballad and wah-wah singers.” And the second act depicted both rehearsal scenes for a Broadway musical and scenes from that musical during its opening night performance. H.H. in Brooklyn Life and Activities of Long Island Society cautioned that “everything” in the production “reminds one of something one has heard or seen before,” and the music was “undistinguishable from the tunes associated with innumerable undistinguished musical shows.” But Marschante was “certainly very pretty, even if her coyness is somewhat forced,” and Claire could “sling slang and swear like the army in Flanders, and she does it very thoroughly.” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle noted that “you might want to see White Lights,” and warned that if you did “you had better hurry before the moving van backs up.”


Création: 11/10/1927 - Walter Kerr Theatre (Broadway) - représ.