"Another bride, another June . . ."
"Stardom" has had many different meanings in the ever changing world of entertainment -- always, though, connoting some performer of distinction. Prior to the television era, a star was one whose name was billed above the title of a show, play, film, or other vehicle. "Oh, Joy! with Harry Smith" meant that Harry Smith was merely "featured."
The Ziegfeld Follies was a special case. Ziegfeld guarded jealously the prestige of his annual revue, and no one was accorded even featured billing -- except Eddie Cantor, who received it by starring in the Follies of 1927 -- in fact if not in name.
What had started as a yearly summer revue had evolved into an opulent, expensive show that generally ran for more than a year on Broadway. Legal action by Abe Erlanger's partner, Marc Klaw, kept the title Ziegfeld Follies in litigation in 1926, and that year's Follies was produced under aliases ranging from the Ziegfeld Palm Beach Girl (in tryouts) to No Foolin' (on Broadway). Only when the show had completed its run at the Globe and gone on tour was the title out of litigation and the show properly billed as the Twentieth Annual Edition of the Ziegfeld Follies.
So much tradition had been either bent or broken that Ziegfeld had few qualms about according Eddie featured billing in the ' 27 Follies. Ziegfeld would not suffer giving Cantor any more; nor would Eddie accept less.
"The Ziegfeld Follies with Eddie Cantor" was a two-and-a-half hour revue with Cantor onstage for more than an hour and three quarters. He was "the Lover" in a scene called "The Star's Double," "Gregory" in "The TransAtlantic Flight," and "Eddie" in "It Won't Be Long Now -- A Taxi Ride," and he had a solo spot -- all in Act One. In Act Two, he was Mayor James J. Walker in "At The City Hall Steps", "The Husband" of Irene Delroy in