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Lorenz HartA Poet on Broadway$
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Frederick Nolan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102895.001.0001

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“The Biggest Opening Since the Grand Canyon”

“The Biggest Opening Since the Grand Canyon”

(p.229) 29 “The Biggest Opening Since the Grand Canyon”
Lorenz Hart

Frederick Nolan

Oxford University Press

On opening night, November 2nd, I'd Rather Be Right stopped the traffic on Fifty-Second Street: the show had the biggest opening, said critic George Jean Nathan, since the Grand Canyon. Two squadrons of police did what they could to contain the heaving crowds — “the most insufferable crush, confusion, and amiable uproar Fifty-Second Street has ever known” — who had turned out to see a star-studded celebrity audience. Pausing only for his opening-night ritual of kissing his wife, Richard Rodgers led the orchestra into the overture of a memorable evening. Only two small misadventures marred the opening; George Cohan tripped over a cable backstage and had to play the first performance with his leg in a special rubber cast, and Beatrice Kaufman, who wore a new fur coat to the premiere, had it stolen from her seat at intermission.

Keywords:   George Jean Nathan, Richard Rodgers, orchestra, overture, George Cohan, Beatrice Kaufman

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