Tripping Backwards in High Heels: Prelude

Bloggified by Jake on Thursday, October 7, 2010

I am working on a truly terrible musical. While the cast does the best it can, the script is awful on so many levels that despite writing several thousand words about it, I still have examples of idiotic misuses of songs or stupid statements that come up with every rehearsal or performance. Until I decide to publish the full review, I'll plug in a few of these "bits that don't fit."

The climax of the play takes place when Ginger Rogers finally gets her chance to take on a serious dramatic role in Kitty Foyle, for which she wins a Best Actress Oscar. I assumed the speech she delivers is based on an transcript of her actual acceptance speech, but I can't find any record of that online. Either way, it features one of the stupidest things an actress accepting an award for acting could ever say, whether the scriptwriter or Rogers herself is to blame.

The play makes a point of people--and especially her mother--being shocked that Ginger Rogers would take on the role of a mother, because she doesn't have kids. Better to stick to playing a woman who dances with Fred Astaire since apparently in 1940 actresses didn't understand the concept of "pretending." Sad news for that guy who Bette Davis gunned down in the opening scene of The Letter (for which she was also nominated for the 1940 Best Actress Oscar).

When Rogers wins the Oscar, she says, "I don't have any children, so I can't imagine how a mother would feel."

Really? So you want to tell the people who just rewarded you for your acting that "As an actress, I can't imagine how anyone who is not exactly like me might feel." Isn't that the first thing you have to do as an actress? Why not add, "And despite my complete lack of imagination, I just won an Oscar! Suck it, Hepburn!"

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