The Passing Show of 1918 is a Broadway musical revue featuring music of Sigmund Romberg and Jean Schwartz (and other songwriters), with book and lyrics by Harold R. Atteridge. The show introduced the hit songs "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" and "Smiles".
Staged by J. C. Huffman and choreographed by Jack Mason, the show debuted at the Winter Garden Theater on July 25, 1918. Playing for 142 performances, it closed on November 9 of the same year. The show was produced by Lee and Jacob J. Shubert. The production featured an early appearance of Fred Astaire (with his sister Adele). The New York Times called it "rattling good entertainment" and praised the "vaudeville team" of Fred and Adele Astaire, as well as the brothers Willie and Eugene Howard.
The original The Passing Show was presented in 1894 by George Lederer at the Casino Theatre. It featured spoofs of theatrical productions of the past season. It was one of the first musical revues on Broadway and led the fashion for such productions. The Casino Theatre produced a revue each summer thereafter for several seasons.
In 1912, Lee and Jacob J. Shubert began an annual series of twelve elaborate Broadway revues at the Winter Garden Theatre, using the name The Passing Show of 19XX, designed to compete with the popular Ziegfeld Follies. They featured libretti by Atteridge and music usually by Romberg, George Gershwin or Herman Finck. Willie and Eugene Howard starred in many editions of the series and in the many editions of the George White's Scandals. Other stars included Charlotte Greenwood, Marilyn Miller, Ed Wynn, De Wolf Hopper, Charles Winninger, Fred Astaire and his sister Adele, Marie Dressler, Fred Allen, George Hassell, and Violet Englefield. Most of the Shubert shows, including the 1918 show, were staged by J. C. Huffman.
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