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June - July, 1920 "Scandal of 1920"

  • [Depicted in Scandal of 1920’s , the 21st episode from the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, produced by George Lucas - released in 1999 -  it’s original edit is from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles; Episodes: Princeton, 1919 - that was never aired.]

  • Later that Summer, Indiana leaves the Windy City for the streets of Manhattan, thanks to a temporary job that Sidney Bechet had arranged for him. 

  • Once he arrives Indy learns that Bechet’s opportunity had fallen through, yet he had brought along an extra saxophone for him to practice alongside an old friend named George Gershwin. During this session in Harlem, Gershwin was impressed with Indiana’s love for music, and he recommends that he look for employment at the Globe Theatre. Through this connection Indiana had also met composers George White and Irving Berlin, whom all together discuss the embedded connection between romance and song.

  • The next day Indiana arrives at the theatre and gets a job as an assistant stage manager, in which he works for the aforementioned White’s production to be named Scandals of 1920. White is both the director and the star, and he hoped that it outperform Florenz Ziegfeld’s Follies. To help ensure their success White had hired one of Ziegfeld’s stars, actress Ann Pennington

  • During this time Indiana had begun to inadvertently court three different women at the same time, leading him to rather helplessly ask his musician friends for any advice. He also at one point met theatre critics Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott, whom Indiana believed to have more integrity than most of their contemporaries.

  • As the weeks move forward Indiana continues to date three different women (under the ruse that he’s in a monogamous relationship with each one), and he becomes further invested with each woman day by day. He does, however, use these relationships to his benefit, even going as far as receive a twenty thousand donation to help finance the show. 

  • On opening night Indiana is thrust into the spotlight when Ziegfeld tries to sabotage the production by intoxicating the stage manager, yet Indiana is resilient enough to improvise and manage the show to great results. 

  • Backstage, however, Indiana’s success would come to a screeching halt, as all three women had arrived on this fateful night and realized their circumstances, thus they proceeded to enter his dressing room and throw birthday cake in his face before Indy could explain. 

  • Thus during this adventure in New York City, Indiana had close encounters or loose associations with:

  • George Gershwin - American composer and pianist, best known for the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924), An American In Paris (1928), and contemporary opera Porgy and Bess (1935), the latter of what was initially a commercial failure yet went on to be recognized as one the most important operas of the twentieth century. Gershwin died young at the age of 38 due to a brain tumor, yet his music lived on in his afterlife having been adopted to film scores as well as through the countless musicians who’s covered him thereafter.

  • George White -  American theatre producer & director, as well as actor, choreographer, composer, dancer, and screenwriter - who became famous for his performances in Ziegfeld’s Follies and later his own Broadway show entitled Scandals. His moves alongside fellow star Ann Pennington sparked a national dance craze throughout the 1920’s.

  • Irving Berlin - Born in Imperial Russia he moved to the United States at the age of five and identified as an American composer and lyricist, who is largely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. Alexander’s Rag-Time Band was his first major hit in 1911 and it made Berlin an international superstar, yet he’d most be revered for writing songs that exemplified the essence of America, including records such as White Christmas, Easter Parade, Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better), There’s No Business Like Show Business, and God Bless America just to name a few. Critics and contemporaries have considered Berlin to be the sheer definition of American music. 

  • Florenz Ziegfeld - American Broadway impresario most remembered for the Follies that ran from 1907-31, and the first edition of Show Boat in 1927. Ziegfeld was known as the “glorifer of the American girl,” popularizing the effects of beautiful women, elaborate costumes, and choreographed dancing. A theatre in his name entitled the Ziegfeld Theatre was also built in 1927 yet was torn down in 1966 to make way for impending skyscrapers. 

  • Ann Pennington - American actress, dancer, and singer who starred on Broadway throughout the 1910’s & 20’s, most notably in Ziegfeld’s Follies and George White’s Scandals where she popularized many dances of the time period. 

  • Dorothy Parker - American poet, writer, critic, and satirist who wrote for Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and was a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table which was a group of critics and writers who met for lunch daily at the Algonquin Hotel. She would later go on to be a successful screenwriter in Hollywood where she was nominated for two Academy Awards, yet was eventually blacklisted during the McCarthy era when she was accused of communism. 

  • Alexander Woollcott - American critic and writer for The New Yorker magazine, who was also an original member of the Algonquin Round Table. Along with colleague Dorothy Parker he was said to be “of the most quoted (persons) of his time period,” and he became the inspiration for fictional characters that shared his reputation for eccentric criticism and judgment. Woollcott passed away in 1943 during the same evening that he participated in a CBS Radio program that was formed as a War panel, in which he stated on air he was feeling ill before making his last proclamations about the evils of Germany, followed by his silence which unbeknownst to the audience was indeed his final moment.

  • The main location of this adventure was:

  • Globe Theatre - today known as the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre - opened in 1910 and named in tribute of London’s Shakespearean playhouse - located on 46th street it had a Parisian Beaux-Arts facade and was a Broadway staple until 1931. 


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