Tuesday, May 21, 2013

             Hard to believe, but if “Bloomer Girl” really opened in 1944, then I was already 18 before I first saw any professional theatre.  Blame it first on the Depression, and after that, on living “out in the country”.  Then  when I was visiting relatives in Boston, they took me to see the musical..  I was completely enthralled, devastated when the lights came up, overjoyed to hear that this was simply an intermission and there was going to be a second act.  Still remember my disappointment on learning there are no third acts in American musicals.
             Not just because it was my first, that was a really good show.  It’s hard to see why it hasn’t been revived – you may never even have heard of it.  One would think feminists would embrace a story that involved the “dress reformer” Amelia Bloomer and a thinly disguised Seneca Falls, Birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement.  One problem may have been the challenge of elaborate costuming.  Take a look at the bloomer outfit that shocked the neighbors so:
          That rig was intended to give women freedom of movement and simplify their lives.  It’s not a theatrical exaggeration, either – here are a couple of genuine outfits, ready for your dressmaker to copy – if you have the courage!


1 comment:

  1. Wouldn't dare it myself. Those skirts are shockingly short!