Through Dora's Eyes!Tuesday, July 24th 2018
W ell. It may not be 1927, and I may not be Dora in reality, but I am performing as her in our upcoming production of Singing in the Rain this August! I thought I’d take a quick break (between breaking numerous umbrellas) to share with you some of the ‘glamour’ of the period, and a little history that I’ve discovered whilst getting into character!
When a script is this rich it is easy to see why this is a classic film favourite. (It’s definitely one of mine.) Playing the luvvie Dora is me very much indulging my inner fangirl. Originally played by Madge Blake in the 1952 film, she’s an over-ecstatic, enthusiastic, gushy gossip columnist and announcer, and incredibly invested into the relationships of her favourite on screen couple; Don and Lina.
“Ladies and gentlemen, when you look at this gorgeous couple, it’s no wonder they’re a household name all over the world like… bacon and eggs. Lockwood and Lamont!”
Learning my lines to the opening sequence where we first meet our principals has given me such a glimpse if Hollywood in the 1920s – a lot of tiny cameos are based on real people of the time, Looking for sources of inspiration, my research lead me to discovering the real (and first) American movie Columnist, Louella Parsons, at her peak her columns were read by 20 million people in 400 newspapers world wide – Imagine! Reaching that many people without in a world without the Internet or social media!
I believe that Dora Bailey is heavily inspired by Louella Parsons as in 1928 Louella Parsons hosted the first weekly radio program featuring interviews with movie stars (much like I will be doing at the beginning of our show!)
After discovering this, I wondered if any of the other small characters witnessed in the opening scene are actually more Easter eggs of the time. Looking into Zelda Zanders (the Zip Girl) I found out about Clara Bow, an American Actress who rose to stardom in the 1920s she successfully transitioned into the talkies in 1927 and was described the leading sex symbol of the time!
I’m loving rehearsals for this show, our cast are truly truly embracing the Hollywood glamour and fun of this beautiful “All talking, all singing all dancing musical romance.”
Singin’ in the Rain
August 22nd-25th, nightly at 7:30pm
September 23rd, 25th and 26th: 2:30pm