revue, a stage presentation that originated in the early 19th cent. as a light, satirical commentary on current events. It was rapidly developed, particularly in England and the United States, into an amorphous musical entertainment, retaining a small amount of satire and partaking increasingly of the elements of vaudeville and the pageant. In the United States the revue—essentially an upscale vaudeville show—became noted for its extravagant staging and costumes and its display of showgirls. The best known of this type was the annual Follies (1907–c.1930) produced by Florenz Ziegfeld, which had as its chief rivals Earl Carroll's Vanities and George White's Scandals. Noël Coward was the pioneer of a more intimate revue-style in the interwar years. Elaborate showgirl revues and comedy acts, often of a satirical nature, are still popular in nightclubs and casinos.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.