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!