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Musicals

Anna Held

A scandalous figure who regularly changed details of her life to suit her image, actress Anna Held was best known for her relationship with Florenz Ziegfeld.

Theresa Helburn

Called the “'Top Man' on Broadway” by the New York Woman, Theresa Helburn created a venue for great American playwrights as director of the Theatre Guild and played a key role in the history of the modern American musical.

Nan Halperin

Nan Halpern became famous on the vaudeville stage not just for her comic performances but for the rapid costume changes that earned her the nickname “The Wonder Girl.”

Elinor Guggenheimer

Elinor Guggenheimer focused her career in city government on higher standards for childcare and on greater representation of women in politics.

Mama Cass Elliot

A folk singer with a gift for turning formerly up-tempo tunes like “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” into unforgettable torch songs, Cass Elliot helped define the sound of her generation as a member of the Mamas and the Papas.

Joan Blondell

Known for playing character roles as a wisecracking, working-class girl, Joan Blondell performed in movies, television, and on stage from age one until her death.

Ora Bat-Chaim

A largely self-taught musician, Ora Bat Chaim had a thriving career as a cellist and concert manager before becoming a prolific composer in her late fifties.

Bea Arthur

Bea Arthur made a career of playing formidable, opinionated women in movies and on television.

Sophie Tucker

“The Last of the Red-Hot Mamas,” Sophie Tucker defied conventions about gender, age, weight, and ethnicity with her saucy comic banter and music.

Sylvia Blagman Syms

A jazz saloon singer with a gift for connecting with her audiences, Sylvia Blagman Syms continued performing despite ill health and was praised as one of the greats by performers that included Billie Holliday, Frank Sinatra, and Duke Ellington.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Musicals." (Viewed on December 16, 2017) <https://jwa.org/topics/musicals>.

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