Yesterday I posted a short film from 1935 called ‘Broadway Highlights’. The film was part of a series of short subjects produced by Paramount Pictures in 1935 and 1936. They purported to tell the viewer, newsreel-style, what was happening on the so-called Gay White Way. In this installment, we first visit NBC Studios, where a new radio program called NTG and His Girls is being rehearsed. The show, hosted by Niles T. Granlund (a famous nightclub impresario of the day), presented amateur performers who did individual numbers and then performed as chorus girls. The girls who perform are all so strident and hopped-up that I suspect Benzedrine was being passed around back stage. Next we get a peek at the Lambs Club, the famous private club for actors and theatrical types on West 44th Street. A show is taking place there, which famous club members both watch and participate in. The acts include Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy and Pete the “Our Gang” dog. Finally we get to what is probably the most valuable material, the backstage of the Winter Garden theater as the ladies of the chorus prepare to go on stage in ‘Earl Carroll’s Sketchbook’. From the perspective of the present day, whatever scandalous appeal the Carroll shows had (which was a big part of their appeal) is long gone. The dancing doesn’t even resemble dancing as we know it–it’s more like fast and random movement, only vaguely in step, performed enthusiastically (courtesy of benzedrine?) and sloppily. We also see a bit of a comic sketch featuring what the announcer calls “the famous comedy team of Aaron and Broderick”.. Reader, I have searched the internet as carefully as is possible. And there is no such comedy team. Not a mention.Not even a bad review. So much for fame on Broadway…


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