The Marx Brothers
Marxology - The Thrills of Wall Street

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The Thrills of Wall Street

Scene 11 - Art Curtain

Song - "Wall Street Blues"
Marcella Hardie, Melvin Sisters, Hazel Gaudreau (Bull), Edgar Gardiner (Bear) and Ensemble

Scene 12 - Wall Street

Richman Come in to Wall St.

Beauty And am I to be crushed like a fly in this monstrous web?

Richman Who knows? If you lose, you lose; if you win I shall share in the profits. It's a thrill either way.

Beauty You tempt me.

Richman The stake I am playing for is you, - - you beautiful doll. Are you listening?

Beauty Yes.

Richman Here Morgan, buy me a thousand shares of oil.

Beauty What kind of oil?

Richman Hair oil, salad oil, any kind of oil.
Bus. of throwing pocketbook off stage
Keep the change.
Pistol shot off stage

Beauty What's all the shooting?

Richman Just another victim.

Beauty Terrible!

Richman Gambling gets into the blood.

Beauty Like drink.

Richman First the thrill of cards. Penny Antie.

Beauty Harmless stakes and pennies roll your way.

Richman Sometimes. Next the rattle of the bones, - - come seven. Dice, - - shoot you a nickle.

Beauty From coppers to nickles.

Richman Next the thrill of the ponies. They're off. At the quarter - - come on you one legged race horse. At the half - - come baby.

Beauty The finish!

Richman She wins!

Beauty Silver winnings.

Richman Next roulette. The spinning wheel with the ivory ball. Dancing over the devil's colors, red and black.

Beauty Playing for gold.

Richman Then comes the big game, - - Wall St.

Beauty The metallic click of the soulless ticker.

Richman Gambler's heaven and hell.

Beauty Within it lurks an evil spirit. Greed for gold.

Richman With gold comes wine, women, song. Easy come, easy go.

Beauty Ah, but with the spending gold takes flight and flies away.

Richman When gold takes flight you build again, from copper to nickle, from silver to gold. Then back to you come the web, the spider, and the fly. Watch, victims will come but they can't beat the game.

The Tragedy of Gambling
The Gambler Harry Walters
The Fairy Mary Melvin
Cards Gertrude Cole
Penny Muriel Greel
Dice Mildred Joy
Dime Jeane Green
Racing Florence Thorpe
Dollar Mary Carney
Roulette Jane Hurd
Gold Coin Gene Spencer

The Greed of Gold
Gold Man Ledru Stiffler

Silver Ballet
Misses Emery, Meehan, Norris, Parker, Case, V. Spencer, Martin, Arledge

The Lure of Gambling
Cecile D'Andrea and Harry Walters

Scene 13 - The Plaything of Wall Street


Script source; Library of Congress, Washington.

Marcella Hardie

Ledru Stiffler as the Gold Man

Alexander Woollcott loved Harpo but he certainly didn't care much for anything else. About the introductory song, he wrote: "...a touching number called "Wall Street Blues" which is sung, for some reason, by a small, shrill young woman wearing blue sateen overalls. It is not known why. Nor greatly cared".

After the "touching number", Beauty and Richman enter Wall Street, which is presented in a futuristic design in black and white. Centre stage, in the background, is a giant tickertape machine, with figures representing a bull and a bear in opposite corners. A fairy (Florence Hedges in early shows, Mary Melvin in later) appeared from within the tickertape machine and presented the four thrills of Wall Street. In the review of I'll Say She Is from Life magazine 5 June 1924, critic Robert Benchley saw this scene as a "palpable and inexcusable" steal from Walt Kuhn's Lillies of the Field ballet.

The Tragedy of Gambling had members of the chorus dressed as The Gambler, Cards, Penny, Dice, Dime, Racing, Dollar and Roulette while The Greed of Gold was symbolized as a Gold Coin, in this case adiscus player in gold. Woollcott sarcastically mentioned "litheyoung gentlemen covered with gold or bluing", an obvious reference to Ledru Stiffler who played the Gold Man in this scene and the Blue Tartar in the Broadway-finale. The two last thrills of Wall Street was enacted by The Silver Ballet and The Lure of Gambling.