By Matthew Joseph Bruccoli
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Extra info for American Decades 1930-1939 (American Decades)
Behrman, starring Earle Larimore and Ina Claire, opens at New York's Guild Theater and runs for 283 performances. 27 Dec. Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City's Rockefeller Center. 29 Dec. Composer Roy Harris's From the Gayety and Sadness of the American Scene is first performed in Los Angeles. 1933 30 Movies 42nd Street, musical directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, and Dick Powell; Counsellor-at-Law, directed by William Wyler and starring John Barrymore and Bebe Daniels; Duck Soup, directed by Leo McCarey and starring the Marx Brothers; Flying Down to Rio, musical directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Dolores Del Rio, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire; Footlight Parade, musical directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring James Cagney and Joan Blondell; Gold Diggers of 1933, musical directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Ginger Rogers, Joan Blondell, and Dick Powell, with songs including "We're in the Money," by Al Dubin and Harry Warren; International House, directed by A.
Delmore Schwartz's first collection of poems, In Dreams Begin Responsibilities, is published. 17 Jan. Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, along with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and members of their orchestras, give the first jazz performance in Carnegie Hall 25 Jan. Ian Hay's Bachelor Born opens at New York's Morosco Theater and runs for four hundred performances. 26 Jan. Paul Vincent Carroll's Shadow and Substance, starring Cedric Hardwicke, Sara Allgood, and Julie Haydon, opens at New York's Golden Theater.
At the same time artists were still assimilating the revolutionary aesthetic innovations of modernism introduced in preceding decades. During the 1930s their experiments with modernism were influenced by their encounters with the Depression, resulting in distinctly national art — one that employed the innovations of modernism to explore the effects of the Depression on the common man. It was, in a sense, a decade of documentary expression, one in which artists explored a myriad of representational forms, all oriented toward revealing an often desperate reality.