"setting the stage for white horse inn"

Published August 9, 1936





Hirschfeld often attended rehearsals to make notes for his drawings, and he sometimes presented backstage scenes in his work. This image was the first to focus on the preparation of a production rather than the performers. White Horse Inn was unquestionably the most lavish and eagerly awaited musical theatre premiere of the 1936-1937 season (with the possible exception of Billy Rose's Jumbo). Advance word of the show's previous success in Germany created great expectations. Playing in the 3.700 seat Center Theater, sister venue to Radio City Music Hall, the show was the second stage production in the building. White Horse Inn was advertised in the daily papers as "Music, maids and minstrels by the million. The biggest thing in town for the money." The New York Times noted that it “involves mountain scenery and hotel architecture, costumes beautiful and varied enough to bankrupt a designer's imagination, choruses that can do anything from the hornpipe to a resounding slap-dance, grand processionals with royalty loitering before the commoners, a steamboat, a yacht, a char-à-banc, four real cows and a great deal more of the same. Indeed, the enthusiasm with which 'White Horse Inn' has been created has virtually transformed the enormous Center Theatre into a Tyrol village.” The Daily Mirror mentioned that “it is difficult to give you an idea of the immensity of 'White Horse Inn'. It is gargantuan. It is the Queen Mary of extravaganzas…It boasts acres of settings, hundreds of performers. It is a grand and glittering sight for the eyes.”

Kitty Carlisle, in her second Broadway show, and after filming A Night at the Opera with the Marx Brothers, starred as the owner of the Inn, and the show ran the entire season.

Please be aware that these digital images come from a variety of sources and quality varies. As we digitize our archives, more and better images will be available to view.

Login or register to add to favorites or suggest tags.

Similar Images