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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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Show Girl and The Dybbuk (1929)

Show Girl and The Dybbuk (1929)

Chapter:
(p.451) Chapter Twenty-Four Show Girl and The Dybbuk (1929)
Source:
George Gershwin
Author(s):

Howard Pollack

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0024

In the spring of 1929, Florenz Ziegfeld persuaded George and Ira to work on Show Girl. In the tradition of J.P. McEvoy's theatrical work, the novel satirizes American culture from greeting-card platitudes to congressional politics, here with an emphasis on the self-serving ties between tabloid journalism and the entertainment industry. Most critics thought the show rambling and incoherent, even if good entertainment in spots. By this time, Ziegfeld and the Gershwins had had a falling-out. On September 30, 1929, Gershwin signed a contract with the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, Giulio Gatti-Casazza, to write an opera based on The Dybbuk, a play by Szymon Ansky. However, with The Dybbuk detained over copyright issues, Gershwin considered other possibilities.

Keywords:   George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, tabloid journalism, J.P. McEvoy, Show Girl, Florenz Ziegfeld, Szymon Ansky, The Dybbuk

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