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The 1936 SHOWBOAT supposedly has a sequence where Magnolia is performing
to the Cotton Blossom audience.  She's sings the song "Galivantin' Around"
in blackflace.  Unfortunately I've never seen a print of this film that
contains this sequence.  (Though not diegetic, I've always thought it odd
that Helen Morgan portrays a black woman - though one who is pretending
not to be.)
 
Of course the 1927 JAZZ SINGER, SINGING FOOL, and MAMMY (1930) have Jolson
performing to a filmed audience.  Though we never see the audience in
BABES ON BROADWAY (because WE are the audience) the various protagonists
don blackface to give a (poor) recreation of a minstrel show - of course
as a plan to raise money.
 
I'm wondering why - for your project - is the presence of the audience
necessary?
Bob Kosovsky
Student, PhD Program in Music                   Librarian
Graduate Center                                 Music Division
City University of New York                     The New York Public Library
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