Adele was Fred Astaire’s older sister and during their stage career she was the more famous half of the duo. He was the perfectionist, whereas Adele was much more relaxed about her performances, though she always suffered from indigestion before opening nights =)).
Adele was charming and attractive as well as a skilful dancer and a delicious comedienne. Her bubbling charm can still be heard on the recordings that she and Fred made of their hit shows. She had innumerable boy friends, but in 1929 she caught the eye of Lord Charles Cavendish, son of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Adele proposed to him at a party. The next morning Lord Charles reminded Adele of her proposal and told her if she didn’t marry him now he would sue her for breach of promise! In 1932 Adele married Lord Charles Cavendish, leaving a distraught Fred wondering if he would ever work again. Despite the success of his partnership with Ginger Rogers and others, some critics felt that Fred spent his life searching for another Adele. Media interest in the marriage was so intense that the ceremony took place in secret at Chatsworth, and even the household staff were not told until the morning of the marriage. Adele gave up performing and went to live with her husband at Lismore Castle in Ireland. When asked if she missed her life on the stage, she replied simply ‘Never’. She once said that she had always really wanted to be a chemist.
"Fred struggled on without [Adele] for a while," wrote Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse," but finally threw his hand in and disappeared. There is a rumor that he turned up in Hollywood. It was the best the poor chap could hope for after losing his brilliant sister."
Stop Flirting was the show in which the Astaires first appeared in London. At first it was not a success. So as publicity, the streets were littered with mock wallets, showing the top of a ten shilling note inside. When opened they revealed only the top part of a note - the rest was simply an advertisement for the show! Then, just as it was due to close, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, came to see it. Suddenly it became the show to see and it ran for over a year.
Lady Be Good was written specially for Fred and Adele Astaire by George Gershwin, who particularly admired Fred’s ability to put over a song. As composer Burton Lane said, ‘George was born to write for Fred and Fred was born to dance to George’s music’. As well as the title song, Lady Be Good included ‘Fascinatin’ Rhythm’ and the comic ‘I’d Rather Charleston’ , with Adele as a dizzy brunette who would rather dance than learn history. The Astaires were idolised in London. Headlines like ‘Fred and Adele Astaire – Please Come Back to London’, were common whenever they opened a new show in New York.
Lady Be Good was the last show to be performed at the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square before it became a cinema. On the last night the audience included the former star of the Empire ballet, Adeline Genee, and audience and cast gave her a great ovation. Also there was the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) who after the show threw a last night party for the Astaires at St James’s Palace.
Funny Face was a successful show both personally and professionally for Adele Astaire. It ran for 263 performances in London and on the last night in 1929, Adele met Lord Charles Cavendish, youngest son of the Duke of Devonshire. They met again in New York, and Adele proposed to him at a party. The next morning Lord Charles reminded Adele of her proposal and told her if she didn’t marry him now he would sue her for breach of promise!
Jessie Matthews saw the Astaires in Funny Face, and remembered their sophistication and professionalism, but she was most impressed by Adele’s comic skills. The show had a wonderful score by George Gershwin including the title song, and ‘ ‘S’ Wonderful’ , Many years later, when Fred was a famous Hollywood star, Funny Face was filmed. Fred played a photographer trying to persuade a bohemian Audrey Hepburn into a career as a model, but only the title and the Gershwin songs remained from the stage show
In 1931, The Band Wagon, under producer Max Gordon, brought together all the traditional elements of the revue format: skits, songs, and dance. Fred & Adele Astaire, for whom the Gershwin brothers had written Lady, Be Good! and Funny Face, were one of Broadway's most popular brother/sister song-and-dance teams. For this show they brought their act to the stage for the last time, as Adele would leave the show in 1932 to marry Lord Charles Cavendish and take up residence in Ireland. The show's last scene, "The Five Star Finale," presented personas the Astaires had used for many years -- he the serious brother, she the gadabout sister. They were both given a chance to have fun in two of their songs, "Hoops" (which ended with their celebrated "runaround" exit -- they literally "ran around" the stage and then dashed off, always to great applause) and "Sweet Music" (in which Fred is irresponsible and Adele tries to get him to take life seriously). Fred also got to don what would become his trademark top hat, white tie and tails in "New Sun in the Sky" and again in "White Heat" (this time with Adele also in men's evening dress).
Their mother had a notion that they should learn to dance, so they journeyed east to New York in 1903 and began a long vaudeville career as a boy-and-girl specialty duo. Adele Astaire and her brother Fred appeared on the vaudeville circuit as children in 1905 and went on to become a famous song and dance team before Adele left to marry in 1932. She was an extrovert and her on-stage personality sparkled over that of her more reticent younger brother. The team made their Broadway debut in 1916’s Over the Top, and in George and Ira Gershwin’s Lady Be Good (1924) they became the darlings of Broadway performing the title song, “Hang onto Me,” “Fascinating Rhythm” (along with Cliff Edwards), and “Swiss Miss.”
In the Gershwins’ Funny Face (1927) they introduced the show’s title song, plus “Let’s Kiss and Make Up” and the comedic “The Babbitt and the Bromide.” In the same show Adele and Allen Kearns introduced “S’Wonderful” and “He Loves and She Loves.”
The Astaires’ last show together was a revue, The Bandwagon (1931), with music and lyrics by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, who wrote the show-stopping closing number for the whole cast, “That’s Entertainment.”
Musicals: Stop Flirting (1923), Lady Be Good (1924), Funny Face (1928), The Band Wagon (1931).
И - боже мой!!!! - это о моем брате была сказана гениальная фраза!!!!!!!!!!!!
‘He makes dance a vertical expression of horizontal desire’.