A Brief History Of The Follies

The 1907 Ziegfeld Girls
The 1907 Ziegfeld Girls

The Ziegfeld Follies was a series of lavish theater productions that ran on Broadway from 1907 until 1931. Producer Florenz "Flo" Ziegfeld Jr. came up with the idea after seeing his longtime girlfriend Anna Held perform in the Folies Bergère in Paris. The Ziegfeld Follies were described as a mix of a Broadway musical and a vaudeville variety show. One of the unique features of the show was the chorus line of sexy showgirls wearing revealing costumes. They became known as The Ziegfeld Girls. Flo said he wanted to "glorify the American girl". More than 10,000 women auditioned to be Ziegfeld Girls each year. Those who were chosen were paid $75 a week and given a wardrobe of fine clothes.

Flo Ziegfeld & The Ziegfeld GirlsFlo Ziegfeld & The Ziegfeld Girls
Flo Ziegfeld & The Girls

The Ziegfeld Girls
The Ziegfeld Girls

The first Ziegfeld Follies premiered in 1907 at the Jardin de Paris roof theater in New York City. In 1913 the show moved the New Amsterdam theater. A second show, called the Midnight Frolic, was created in 1915. It was a more risque version of the Follies that was performed on the roof of the theater. Flo ended his romance with Anna Held when he fell in love with Lillian Lorraine. He married actress Billie Burke in 1914 and they had a daughter named Patricia. Unfortunately he was a womanizer who had numerous affairs. Among his many lovers were Olive Thomas and Marilyn Miller. The last season of Ziegfeld Follies opened in 1931. The following year Flo Ziegfeld died from pneumonia at the age of sixty-five.

Ziegfeld Follies Of 1922Ziegfeld Follies Of 1918

Ziegfeld's Midnight FrolicZiegfeld Follies Of 1907