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.
The Acacias night-club was a hall at the rear of the Hotel Acacias sited at 47 Rue des Acacias near the Bois de Bologne with a garden utilized for the summer. It was one of the many night-resorts in Paris in the Jazz Age that became a favoured rendezvous of high society throughout the 1920s. The roster of performers who appeared at Les Acacias was astonishing, providing a veritable Who’s Who of glittering international stars of stage and cabaret.
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.’
Rome ‘The Eternal City’ in the 1920s
Described as the Capital of Civilisation, Rome was known as the ‘Eternal City’ because civilization had endured there for thousands of years. As a result the passion to visit Rome had never died and was felt by the modern traveller as much as it was by the citizens of the Roman Empire, the medieval pilgrim or the renaissance artist. Naturally, the attraction of Rome has always been its classical monuments and the Vatican.
The Dolly Sisters: Icons of the Jazz Age is out now
‘In more than one way the Dolly Sisters were original Glamor Girls of Cafe Society – even though theirs was an era -that fabulous period of the Roarin’ twenties – when the term Cafe Society had not yet been coined.’ Cholly Knickerbocker c.1945
‘One appears as the reflection of the other and just as you could not see a man without his shadow, you could not conceive of how one of the Dolly Sisters could dance and live without the other’ Jazz Magazine 15 June 1927
‘Two more electric personalities it has never been my fate to meet. They radiated personal magnetism, vibrant energy or whatever you like to call it and any revue benefited enormously by their presence on the stage… On the stage and off the Dolly sisters were unique.’ Charles B. Cochran
‘You can’t tell one apart from the other. In conversational ability they are as entertaining as they are with their tootsies. No prettier, smarter, clever people were born than these two girls… the most charming tots on the American stage…. they have proven themselves a box office asset… greater things will be heard…’ Unidentified 1916