The show opened in Philadelphia in May of 1923 and played around the country for a year before opening at the Casino Theatre in New York on May 19, 1924. Legend has it that the first-string critics for the New York papers were slated to see a different show premiering at the Winter Garden Theatre the same night, and only came to I'll Say She Is when the other show was postponed at the last moment; however, as both the Winter Garden and the Casino were part of the Shubert chain, it seems more likely that the openings were deliberate set for different dates, to avoid competing with each other. In any case, the critics, most notably Alexander Woollcott, raved about the show, and the Marx Brothers became first-rank stars virtually overnight.
They went on to star in two more hit Broadway shows, The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers; unlike those shows, however, I'll Say She Is was never made into a film, presumably because it was a revue rather than a play. A version of its opening scene, however, was made into a short for Paramount Pictures as part of a feature called The House That Shadows Built, as a promotion for the then-upcoming Marx film Monkey Business; and an animated version of the Napoleon scene (with Groucho) was incorporated into a 1970 ABC-TV special called The Mad, Mad, Mad Comedians.
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