Saturday, April 11, 2009

Her Easter Bonnet

Marilyn Miller, Clifton Webb, Helen Broderick
A successful 1933 - 1934 Broadway season

Broadway was in the dumps in 1933, as was a good portion of the world dealing with the Great Depression. Irving Berlin wasn't having the best of times either with the failure of Face the Music the previous season. All that was about to change. Irving and Moss Hart fashioned themselves a major hit with As Thousands Cheer. Their satirical revue spoofed the tabloid journalists and their society targets. It was, by contemporary accounts, a funny, biting show with Berlin's best songs as he once again climbed to the top of the show business heap.
Ethel Waters scored big time with Heat Wave and Supper Time. Marilyn Miller's beauty and a knack for comic impersonation won over the critics. Helen Broderick stole scenes with her sass and style. Clifton Webb sang the hit of the revue.

Irving rightly predicted that the hit of the show would be one of his trunk songs. Fifteen years earlier, Irving came up with Smile and Show Your Dimple that went nowhere. Retaining a fondness for the melody he refashioned the lyric and as each skit in the show revolved around some aspect of the newspaper game, Her Easter Bonnet brought to life the rotogravure or Sunday photo feature. The effect was spectacular and a standard was born.

Never saw you look quite so pretty before
Never saw you look quite so lovely what's more
I could hardly wait to keep our date this lovely Easter morning
And my heart beat fast as I came through the door, for
In your Easter Bonnet with all the frills upon it
You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade
I'll be all in clover and when they look you over
I'll be the proudest fellow in the Easter Parade
On the Avenue, 5th Avenue, the photographers will snap us
And you'll find that you're in the rotogravure
Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet
And of the gal I'm taking to the Easter Parade


  1. Your blog is outstanding!

    Here is the url of the blog from the Archives of the Sandusky Library, if you would like to take a look:

  2. Thank you for the compliment and especially for the url. I will spend hours getting lost on that site.



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