Theatrical production of brief, loosely connected, often satirical skits, songs, and dances. Originally derived from the medieval French street fair, the modern revue dates from the early 19th century with the Parisian Folies Marigny and later at the Folies-Bergère. The English revue developed in two forms: one as the costume display and spectacle of the Court Theatre productions in the 1890s and another as the André Charlot Revues of the 1920s and the London Hippodrome shows, which emphasized clever repartee and topicality. In the U.S. the Ziegfeld Follies began in 1907 and usually featured a star personality. Revues appeared periodically on Broadway and West End stages until competition from movies and television moved the form to small nightclubs and improvisational theatres.
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Revues took advantage of their high revenue stream to lure away performers from other media, often offering exorbitant weekly salaries without the unrepentant travel demanded by other entertainments. Performers such as Eddie Cantor, Anna Held, W.C. Fields, Bert Williams, and the Fairbanks Twins found great success on the revue stage. Composers or lyricists such as Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Irving Berlin, and George M. Cohan also enjoyed a tremendous reception on the part of audiences. Sometimes, an appearance in a revue provided a key early entry into entertainment. Largely due to their centralization in New York City and adroit use of publicity, revues proved particularly adept at introducing new talents to the American theatre. Rodgers and Hart, one of the great composer/lyricist teams of the American musical theatre, followed up their early Columbia University student revues with the successful Garrick Gaieties (1925). Comedian Fanny Brice, following a brief period in burlesque and amateur variety, bowed to revue audiences in Ziegfeld's Follies of 1910. Specialist writers / composers of revues have included Sandy Wilson, Noel Coward, John Stromberg, George Gershwin, Earl Carroll and Flanders and Swann.
Towards the end of the 20th century, a sub-genre of revue largely dispensed with the sketches, founding narrative structure within a song cycle in which the material is culled from varied works.. This type of revue may or may not have identifiable characters and a rudimentary story line but, even when it does, the songs remain the focus of the show (for example, Closer Than Ever by Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire). This type of revue usually showcases songs written by a particular composer or songs made famous by a particular performer. Examples of the former are Side By Side By Sondheim (music/lyrics Stephen Sondheim), Eubie! (Eubie Blake) Tom Foolery (Tom Lehrer), and Five Guys Named Moe (songs made popular by Louis Jordan). The eponymous nature of these later revues suggest a continued embrace of a unifying authorial presence in this seemingly scattershot genre, much as was earlier the case with Ziegfeld, Carrol, et al.
It is a current and fairly longstanding tradition of Medical Schools within the UK to put on Revues each year, combining comedy sketches, songs, parodies, films and soundbites. Each year, the Revue casts of each of the 5 Medical Schools of the University of London compete in the competition known as the United Hosptials Revue in an attempt to win the Moira Stewart trophy. In 2007-8, the winners were GKT, and the runners-up were the St George's Medics Revue. As well as performing at their respective universities, shows will often be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Cambridge, St George's and Birmingham Medics Revues are all performing at the 2008 Fringe festival.
Maaike Koffeman. Entre classicisme et modernite: La Nouvelle Revue Francaise dans le champ litteraire de la Belle Epoque.(Book review)
Jan 01, 2008; Maaike Koffeman. Entre classicisme et modernite: La Nouvelle revue Francaise dans le champ litteraire de la Belle Epoque....