Friday, November 06, 2009

A Valuable Comédienne

From the January 4, 1930 issue of The New Yorker, I read this in Robert Benchley's theatre column regarding a new play called "Top Speed":
The chorus is smart; Irène Delroy dances nicely; Lester Allen has an imaginative sweater-tailor and puts the one new gag over with excellent effect, and a novitiate named, believe it or not, Ginger Rogers seems to be a valuable comédienne in the making.
Yeah, maybe that lady with the strange name will go on to better things?

Better than the play at least. According to Benchley the 1929/1930 season was crammed with mediocre plays about sports. "Top Speed" -- featuring a speedboat race -- was one of a long line, and released at the same time as "Woof Woof" (about whippet racing).

"Top Speed" remains obscure as a play. It's somewhat better known as a subsequent movie adaptation, partly because of Rogers' involvement, but mostly because a "musical backlash" caused First National Pictures to cut out all the film's musical numbers before its American release. Talk about extremes...


GeoX said...

Do the speedboats have to keep up a certain speed or else they explode? Or am I thinking of something else?

Muffy St. Bernard said...

2:29 AM? You're DRUNK!

Unless you know something about 1920s speedboats that I don't.