A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“Somewhere between a donut and a juice cleanse” (7/13)
“Somewhere between a doughnut and a juice cleanse” (7/13)
Entry in progress—BP47 (7/13)
Entry in progress—BP46 (7/13)
Entry in progress—BP45 (7/13)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from December 20, 2022
Floperetta (flop + operetta)

“Floperetta” is a portmanteau of the words “flop” and “operetta.” A failed musical is a “floperetta.” The term was coined by syndicated gossip columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972).
   
“One floperetta did a gross of $36 the other night, all of it via the Leblang (cut-rate ticket) route” was printed in the Walter Winchell column in the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal on January 9, 1929. “Oh, yes, and the Earl’s Archduke costume at the snooty affair was from his floperetta, ‘Fioretta’” was printed in the Walter Winchell column in the Scranton (PA) Republican on January 28, 1930. “The songs in this banal musical comedy—it just missed being a floperetta—won’t knock anyone cold” was printed in Photoplay Magazine in April 1930. “A No. 2 wheel show toured the small-time circuit, and this one was a floperetta” was printed in the Walter Winchell column in the Cincinnati (OH) Enquirer on March 20, 1946. “English: UNSUCCESSFUL MUSICAL Thinklish: FLOPERETTA” was in a Lucky Strikes Cigarettes advertisement in The Daily O’Collegian (Stillwater, OK) on October 31, 1958.
   
“But overall, ‘The Pirate Queen’ earns the label coined by the Broadway musical chronicler, Ethan Morden. Doherty and McColgen have invested their millions in a ‘floperetta’” was printed in the Hartford (CT) Courant on April 6, 2007. Broadway musical theater historian Ethan Mordden popularized the term, but was not the first to use it.
 
 
Bursting with Song
A Broadway Glossary
(...)
Floperetta: A flop operetta. The term was coined by Ethan Mordden.
 
Wikipedia: Irra Petina
Irra Petina (April 18, 1908 – January 19, 2000) was an actress and singer as well as a leading contralto with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She was called the “floperetta queen” by critic Ken Mandelbaum.
       
Newspapers.com
9 January 1929, Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, “Variety” by Walter Winchell, pg. 12, col. 1:
One floperetta did a gross of $36 the other night, all of it via the Leblang (cut-rate ticket) route.
     
Newspapers.com
28 January 1930, Scranton (PA) Republican, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 4, col. 2:
Oh, yes, and the Earl’s Archduke costume at the snooty affair was from his floperetta, “Fioretta.”
 
Lantern (Media History Research Center)
April 1930, Photoplay Magazine, “The Shadow Stage,” pg. 101, col. 1:
THE BATTLE OF PARIS—Paramount
SOMEONE spoke French in the Ritz Bar, et voila! “The Battle of Paris.” Gene Markey sold the story for a song, but Gertrude Lawrence overdoes it. Now that she’s had her little joke, perhaps she’ll throw a real picture. The songs in this banal musical comedy—it just missed being a floperetta—won’t knock anyone cold. All Talkie.
     
Newspapers.com
20 March 1946, Cincinnati (OH) Enquirer, Walter Winchell column, pg. 6, col. 1:
A No. 2 wheel show toured the small-time circuit, and this one was a floperetta.
 
Newspapers.com
31 October 1958, The Daily O’Collegian (Stillwater, OK), pg. 10, col. 2 ad:
THINKLISH
English: UNSUCCESSFUL MUSICAL
Thinklish: FLOPERETTA
(Lucky Strike Cigarettes advertisement.—ed.)
   
Google Books
The Movie Musical from Vitaphone to 42nd Street, as Reported in a Great Fan Magaine
By Miles Kreuger
New York, NY: Dover Publications
1975
Pg. 153:
The songs in this banal musical comedy—it just missed being a floperetta—won’t knock anyone cold. All Talkie.
(The Battle of Paris, a 1929 film.—ed.)
 
Newspapers.com
8 July 1993, Bradenton (FL) Herald, “Entertainment,” pg. C-12, col. 2:
Ed Riggins will present “Flopera, Floperetta and Other Musical Disasters” at 2 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Oaks; donation is $15.
   
Newspapers.com
6 April 2007, Hartford (CT) Courant, “Miserable Reprise Of ‘Les Miserables’” by Malcolm Johnson, pg. D3, col. 5:
But overall, “The Pirate Queen” earns the label coined by the Broadway musical chronicler, Ethan Morden. Doherty and McColgen have invested their millions in a “floperetta.”
 
Google Books
The Guest List:
How Manhattan Defined American Sophistication:
From the Algonquin Round Table to Truman Capote’s ball

By Ethan Mordden
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2010
Pg. ?:
One of the first talkies, The Battle of Paris, sported two Porter numbers and Gertrude Lawrence but a lame screenplay; Photoplay, using a term I thought was recently coined, said it was musical comedy enough to “just [miss] being a floperetta.”
 
Twitter 
Jonathan Blalock
@JonathanBlalock
Ouch! @MetOpera #scarywidow #floperetta @parterre
http://observer.com/2015/01/major-miscast-renee-fleming-makes-a-sour-merry-widow-at-the-met/
11:40 AM · Jan 7, 2015 from Cedar Rapids, IA
 
Twitter
Kevin Daly
@kevinddaly
Listening to the ‘Anya,’ a ‘60s floperetta based on ‘Anastasia,’ curiously subtitled “The Musical Musical.”#flops
6:34 PM · Jan 7, 2015
 
Twitter
ARTS NYC
@ARTSNewsNYC
Off with the show: On this day in 1954 the floperetta Hit the Trail closed at Mark Hellinger Theater after four… http://dlvr.it/CwHqKq
8:44 AM · Dec 4, 2015
 
Twitter
Micaela
@ZerbinettasBlog
I am researching a somewhat minor floperetta from 1904. in the week after its premiere it was reviewed in *10* different Viennese papers. and those are just the ones I can get on the internet right now.
12:20 PM · Jan 21, 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Tuesday, December 20, 2022 • Permalink


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.