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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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Tip-Toes and Song of the Flame (1925)

Tip-Toes and Song of the Flame (1925)

(p.359) Chapter Nineteen Tip-Toes and Song of the Flame (1925)
George Gershwin

Howard Pollack

University of California Press

In the fall of 1925, the Gershwin brothers, bookwriters Fred Thompson and Guy Bolton, and producers Aarons and Freedley launched a new musical, Tip-Toes, which was designed especially for Queenie Smith. Tip-Toes would represent the pinnacle of Smith's stage career, though she subsequently enjoyed some success in Hollywood. As a romantic farce about lovers who have to overcome differences in social status, it echoed a number of previous Gershwin musicals, and also brought Ira his first major recognition. While working on Tip-Toes, Gershwin also collaborated with composer Herbert Stothart and bookwriter-lyricists Oscar Hammerstein and Otto Harbach on an operetta, Song of the Flame. Set against the background of the Russian revolution and its aftermath, Song of the Flame features a large cast of principals divided more or less into serious and comic characters.

Keywords:   Tip-Toes, Queenie Smith, Gershwin musicals, Alex Aarons, Ira Gershwin, Herbert Stothart, Russian revolution

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