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Archive for the ‘Broadway’ Category

During my last week at the Library of Congress, we presented an exhibit of recent acquisitions to the dance collections. It was really great to show and explain the materials to a wider audience. I have included a few photos of it below:

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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There are hundreds of amazing photographs of Marge from the collection and I wanted to include a few on the blog, including some from her Broadway productions and a few pages of her scrapbook:

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I couldn’t resist posting all of the photographs of Marge with the violins:

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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Marge appeared in several Broadway productions, but two that I found interesting were the 1943 George Balanchine production ‘What’s Up?’ and the 1946 ‘Beggar’s Holiday’, which included music by Duke Ellington and lyrics by John La Touche. ‘Beggar’s Holiday’ was Ellington’s only book musical and, according to the 2009 Opera Theater Pittsburgh revival program, “was the first racially-integrated Broadway musical, enduring nightly pickets and protests beneath the marquee in response to the production’s interracial romances and race-blind casting.” Photographs of some of Marge’s materials related to these productions can be seen below.

For “Beggar’s Holiday”:

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For “What’s Up?”:

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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Another focus of Gower Champion’s scrapbooks is Bye Bye Birdie, one of the first musicals he directed and choreographed.

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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The Marge Champion Collection also contains extensive material from Gower Champion, including many scrapbooks related to his Broadway productions.  I have included a few photographs of the scrapbooks, including Gower’s meticulous notes and a telegram from Carol Channing.

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All images reproduced by Nicole Topich from the Marge Champion Collection at the Library of Congress Performing Arts Division.

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