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Archikulture Digest

by Carl F Gauze

I Want to Be a Blond Bombshell!

I Want to Be a Blond Bombshell!
With Noel-Marie Matson
Musical Direction by Chris Leavy
Spotlight Cabaret Series
Winter Park Playhouse
Winter Park, FL

Blonde isn’t the big sexual turn on it was 50 years ago, but it’s still a useable stereotype. Deep down Ms. Matson is really a brunette, but she’s discovered the joy of buying Marilyn wigs and telling stories about her movie obsessed bubala. Songs tonight tended toward blonde numbers: “I Enjoy Being a Blonde”, Peggy Lee Disney tunes, and Betty Grable’s film performances filled the bill. But the pinnacle tonight was her tap number; only the second ever in the Spotlight Cabaret series. How did she learn to tap? No expensive lessons for this girl; she did it old school by watching movies and duplicating the routines step by step. Apply that sort of focus in the wrong direction and you can get in real trouble. Her encyclopedia knowledge of Ms. Grable’s oeuvre shined; Grable made a few dozen largely forgotten films, all with the same exact plot. And let’s face it, most movies in those days were written by a plot-o-matic and don’t hold up well. To wit: Grable always had a stock male lead; my favorite was Don Ameche the con artist but all the other men were just cardboard cut outs as well. I’ve seen more than few old movies, and they are all dreadful except for the dance extravaganzas, and of course Groucho. Matson brought all these late night movies back to me, and she’s one of those performers that dominates a room when she needs to. She may have been mousy in the recent “Why Do Fools Fall In Love?” but here she is way bigger than life, and so much closer.

For more information on Winter Park Playhouse, please visit http://www.winterparkplayhouse.org

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