The Marx Brothers, Cab & Blanche on the same stage!

Quite a show, isn't it? Well, you aren't dreaming! In his early days on the New York stage, Cab found himself on the bill for a week at the Palace on 47th Street in Manhattan between October 11 and October 17, 1930.
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The Marx Brothers and Margaret Dumont in Schweinerei
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Variety, October 15, 1930

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Cab Calloway and his Missourians

"The Schweinerei" was the title of the 45-mn production starring the 4 Marx Brothers and the ever-present Margaret Dumont. She even appears on the front page of the RKO program while the "Musketeers of Myrth" are in the following pages. Read the wonderful book Four Of The Three Musketeers by Robert S. Bader for more information (but you won't find any mention of Calloway inside!).

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Daily News, October 12, 1930
Young vaudeville star Georgie Price, soprano Rose Perfect, and ventriloquists Vox and Walter were also on the bill. Over the course of a week, three complete shows will take place every evening, with a packed program.
Cab is announced as follows:
"Radio Favorites and Victor Records Artists
direct from The Cotton Club
With Blanche Calloway
A colorful dish of music, song, and dance served hot".
The New York Times of October 13, 1930 gave the evening an excellent review, especially impressed by the hilarious talent of the Marx brothers.
The review did not mention Cab Calloway's sister's presence, even though it was announced on the programs (the brother and sister regularly appeared together on stage, Cab already being the best-selling name of the siblings!). Their review follows:
"Cab Calloway's horn blowers (...) carefully bring their Harlem rhythms all the way down to Forty-seventh Street only to lose them in a barrage of strident noice. Tiger Rag they play with a great wailing of saxophones, and I'm a Glutton for Love."
The latter title alone makes us wish it had never entered posterity!
The New York Sun of the same day gives us more insights, with the same disdain for jazz:
“Cab Callowav and his Missourians, black boys from Harlem, offer a fast musical act and some very good specialties. As is usual with bands from the Harlem night clubs, the entertainers they bring with them steal the act. This week we have Snake Hips Jackson, Blanche Calloway and Dannie and Eddie. The last named two do some very clever tap dancing on roller skates. Unfortunately, our ear drums gave out before we decided whether or not Prof. Calloway’s music was good.”
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RKO Keith Palace Theatre program for the week: Margaret Dumont is on the front page.


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