Two Centuries of Show Biz Ephemera

Posted in Performances

After the final word is spoken and the last chord fades, all that is left of a performance is the slightly less ephemeral paperwork, publicity and props. From the Golden Age of Italian Opera to the Unknown Comic wearing a paper bag over his head, it is an interesting world of ephemera, redolent of long runs and quick exits stage left. What can we gather?

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This battered carte de visite photo is of Anna Held, “The Girl with the Hourglass Figure.” She was a French singer and actress whose lover and promoter, Florenz Ziegfeld, cleverly publicized Miss Held’s beauty secret as a “milk bath” to attract the attention of the press. That and other publicity ploys set a standard procedure for making big stars of performers. Held returned the favor by suggesting that Ziegfeld model a show after the popular Follies in Paris.
Anna Held 
Carte de Visite 
Schloss 
64 W 23rd St New York 
Approx. 4” x 6” 

From:
Theatre of Memory program: Two Centuries of Show Biz Ephemera