After four successful years (1920-1924) of being one of London’s premier rendezvous for dining and dancing, the décor for the Criterion’s famous Italian Roof Garden was swept away and the room was re-decorated and became a cabaret with a show that was called Carnival Time.
The Criterion in Piccadilly Circus, was a large collection of restaurants all housed in one building. It became an iconic rendezvous in London’s nightlife and a favoured haunt of London’s high society in the Jazz Age especially the splendid Italian roof garden that dazzled audiences from 1920-1924.
From the 1910s, into the 1920s and 30s, Black culture in all forms proliferated in Harlem and became known as the Harlem Renaissance. In particular there was a flowering of jazz music, performance and night-clubs in the early part of the 1920s. This trend extended into Manhattan, first with Lew Leslie’s cabaret venue called the Plantation in 1922 and then with the Club Alabam in 1924. At the same time Black artists invaded Montmartre in Paris and established a comparable ‘Harlem in Montmartre.’