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, one of the GeoX boys. said...

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

Adam Thornton said...

2:29 AM? You're DRUNK!

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