Coco Rogers (or Ginger Chanel)

Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday! This month we’re honoring Ginger Rogers, whose contributions to musical comedy extend beyond the wonderful films she did with Fred Astaire, and onto her work on the stage, where she got her start in the original Broadway productions of Top Speed (1929) and Girl Crazy (1930). Following stardom in Hollywood during the ’30s and ’40s, Rogers never gave up her love of the theatre — in addition to local productions and road tours, she was the first to replace Carol Channing in the original run of Hello, Dolly! (1964) and then headlined the 1969 West End production of Mame (1966).

In this post, I’m sharing a memento of a much lesser known credit in her career — an untracked audio (for subscribers who comment below to alert me of their interest) from her two-month 1971 stock tour of Coco, the 1969 musical biography of Coco Chanel that initially starred the vocally challenged but nevertheless commanding Katharine Hepburn and featured a solid score by André Previn and Alan Jay Lerner. As an excerpt of the otherwise untracked audio, here’s Rogers with the climactic “Always Mademoiselle.” Go Ginger!



Come back next month for another Musical Theatre rarity! And stay tuned Tuesday for more Sitcom fun!

16 thoughts on “Coco Rogers (or Ginger Chanel)

  1. Yes! Yes, a thousand times yes I would love this audio!! I’ve been searching for this one and the one taken from Katharine Hepburn:s closing night performance as well!
    Also, do you happen to have the audio of the out of town flop musical MISS MOFFAT from 1974 with Better Davis?

    • Hi, Shawn! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      I have emailed you with access to this recording (and a correlated bonus that I’m sending to all subscribers — coincidentally, I think you’ll be happy) at your gmail address.

      As for MISS MOFFAT, I do have the audio — more than one, actually — so thanks for the request; it could be fodder for a future post!

  2. Hi, I’d absolutely love to have a copy of the recording. Alan Jay Lerner is one of my favourite writers and to have a recording of this would be amazing! Thank you.

  3. Love Ginger Rogers! My favorite zinger of hers is in 42nd Street: “Must’ve been tough on your Mother not having any Children!” HaHa! Please send her Coco, I didn’t even know she had done the show. What I’d Love to see is her Mame! Thanks, Jackson

    • Hi, David! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Please subscribe to this blog using your preferred email address and I will send it your way!

      • My pleasure to. You have some great posts here. Thank you so much for this audio! I’ve had a curious fascination for Coco since I first heard it. I’ve always wanted to read the script and this is definitely a step up. From the snippets of audio I’ve heard so far, Ginger new the show she was in and how to play her strengths to its weaknesses. I’m so ready to hear the full show!

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