"The Wonder Bar"
A continental novelty of European Night Life
Adapted by Irving Caesar and Aven Kandel from the
original of Geza Herczeg and Karl Farkas
Preview March 5-7, 1931; Belasco Theater, Washington, DC
Preview March 9-14, 1931; Sam S. Shubert Theater, New Haven Connecticut
Opened March 17, 1931; Nora Bayes Theatre, New York
Broadway performances -- 76
Closed May 29, 1931; Nora Bayes Theatre, New York
Toured from September, 1931 through April, 1932 in
New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington DC, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Louisiana, Arizona and California
The show was restructured around Jolson, giving him a wonderful opening number, "Good Evening Friends," and an old Yiddish song, "A Chazend'l Ohf Shabbes," as well. For a contempory look at the show, descriptions of the venue, and a feel for the course of the show, here are photographs, newspaper clippings, and more.
|BACK TO THE "GREAT WHITE WAY"
New York City: Two famous men of the theatre -- Al Jolson and Morris Gest -- return to Broadway after a long absence as co-producer and star of the "Wonder Bar", a combination musical comedy, revue and cabaret opening at the Bayes Theatre next month.
|Al Jolson and Morris Gest, perhaps looking over the material for the new Broadway musical "The Wonder Bar."|
|Rex O'Malley, Marie Hunt, and Al Jolson||Patsy Kelly and Al Jolson|
|Wanda Lyon, Vernon Steele, and Al Jolson||Al Jolson at the Wonder Bar|
|Al Jolson in "The Wonder Bar," by Oscar Cesare, 1931, published in the New York Times on March 29, 1931|
|Gladys Sugden, one of the Guests Of The Wonder Bar in the original Broadway production||Claire Windsor, who played Lianne Duval in the touring company, with Al Jolson|
|One of the songs that Al Jolson sang in The Wonder Bar was "Good Evening." While he never recorded the song, here is the way he performed it in the movie version of the show. Many feel that this performance inspired some aspects of the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret, a generation later.|