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Monday, 24 March 2014

A 'catchy' show

Tuesday, March 24th., Cadogan Square, London.

Binnie Hale in "No, No, Nanette"
"No, No, Nanette" at the Palace Theatre last night. This is supposed to be the most popular musical-comedy of modern time. Edgar Selwyn saw it in Chicago, and praised it very highly. It contains three or four extremely catchy jazz tunes. Also Binnie Hale - who is young, has style, charm, and is a very good dancer - for a star.

Binnie Hale (1899 – 1984) was an English actress and musician. Her father, Robert Hale, and younger brother,Sonnie Hale, were actors. She married West End actor Jack Raine, with whom she had one daughter. Among films and stage productions, she appeared in No, No, Nanette in 1925 at the Palace Theatre, London.

It also contains Joseph Coyne, who is simply admirable, and George Grossmith, who is good. These two together on the stage do admirably funny scenes. It also contains some women who are competent or a bit more. The music is 'catchy'. It is perhaps the best musical comedy I ever saw.

No, No, Nanette is a musical comedy based on Mandel's 1919 Broadway play My Lady Friends. The farcical story involves three couples who find themselves together at a cottage in Atlantic City in the midst of a blackmail scheme, focusing on a young, fun-loving Manhattan heiress who naughtily runs off for a weekend, leaving her unhappy fiancé. During its pre-Broadway tour, No, No, Nanette became a hit in Chicago, and the production stayed there for over a year. In 1925, the show opened both on Broadway and in the West End. The London production opened on March 11, 1925 at the Palace Theatre, where it starred Binnie Hale, Joseph Coyne and George Grossmith, Jr. and became a hit, running for 665 performances. Film versions and revivals followed. No, No, Nanette was not successful in its first pre-Broadway tour in 1924. When the production arrived in Chicago, producer Harry Frazee re-cast the show with new stars, had the book rewritten and asked Youmans and Caesar to write additional songs. These additional songs, "Tea for Two" and "I Want to Be Happy", would become the hit songs of the show.

A beautiful Spring day today after a sharp frost overnight. What a difference the sun makes to one's mood. I was thinking yesterday about the effect of light (or absence of light), and particularly about the way the orientation of one's home largely determines the quantity and quality of exposure. The thing to do is to get out of doors as much as possible. I have always walked and advocate it as the best, and simplest, form of exercise.

Additionally for March 24th., see 'Absolute Five Towns'

On Wednesday night a Welsh vet. officer came here to sleep. Very provincial and polite and talkative. All about Lloyd George and N. Wales and Stanley Weyman. Just like middle-class provincials in Potteries, except for accent. Speaking of billeting in Manningtree, he said the billetees had to cook for soldiers, while not finding the food. "Now many of them didn't like it," he said with sympathy and conviction, as middle class speaking of and understanding middle class. It was absolute Five Towns. No member of upper middle class would have said it like that. A member of upper middle class might have laughed, or said it indulgently, or said it comprehendingly, but not with the same unconscious sympathy.

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