At the Circus Reviews
"Lydia" reaches the lofty heights of their great nonsense songs and fits the circus... An oddly placed reprisal of the black characters surround Harpo and have a jumpy musical number from Day at the Races (which was the odd weak part of that movie) not so much.
In short, it does its job well enough if not spectacularly, however its almost worth ranking with the best for Groucho, upon noticing his wallets been pickpocketed and stuffed between her breasts and knows he has to get it out, says "how can I get it out and stick to the Hayes code?" One of the biggest laughs I've had in years.
While I do enjoy a good musical, the songs are always my least favorite part of a Marx Bros. movie While Lydia the Tattooed Lady is from this movie, and Groucho is fun to watch during that number, the songs with the tenor are of the style of the time, and choreographed simplistically and poorly that they really date the movie. And Harpo playing the Harp is always fun to see, but that number is a complete tangent to the plot.
There is enough funny Marx Bros. here to make it worth the wait through the songs, and you could actually fast forward through them to get to the next scene and not have to worry about missing a plot point; they are that unrelated to the rest of the film. Recommend.