Lady of Burlesque (1943)

Missy and a bevy of goofy showgirls.

“Take it off the E-string, play it on the G-string..” !

“If you’re not going for us you’re knocking out waiters who wouldn’t look at you if you were rolled in batter and french-fried.” !

The thing I love about this film is the way it illuminates the fact that most audiences – from grindhouse and vaudeville halls to the Opera House, are up for a show. It never has to be perfect, really, as long as there is a spectacle. Humans love “the spectacle”. Like a bunch of little kids or curious crows, they will take in most things with amusement, even if it is you falling on your butt in a long evening gown.

Backstage life for performing artists hasn’t changed at all since this era. Cramped spaces, brick walls, messy little dressing rooms. Living like cats in a basket, barely room to straighten your arms, but filled with show adrenaline. More drama than the shows themselves. The pandemic has ended it all.

Author: Subterraneans

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