Filmsite Movie Review
Footlight Parade (1933)
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Background

Footlight Parade (1933) is one of the three most spectacular musicals in 1933 from Warner Bros. and legendary choreographer Busby Berkeley, alongside Lloyd Bacon's 42nd Street (1933) and Mervyn LeRoy's Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) - with this briskly-told entry often considered the best and most extravagant of all three. These three energetic, fast-paced song/dance films all featured performers Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Guy Kibbee, and three chorus girls or 'golddiggers' (Lorena Layson, Renee Whitney and Pat Wing). They also featured songs written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren, and conducted by Leo F. Forbstein.] Each movie attempted to outdo the previous extravaganza in exotic, erotic flamboyance.

The un-PC musical comedy, an escapist Depression-Era diversion, was set at the time of the arrival of talkies, when a brisk, fast-talking Broadway impresario-producer, with some semi-crooked financiers, convinced them to produce brief live musical 'prologues' for movie houses. In a giant, assembly-line styled production house studio, he directed numerous song-and-dance musical shows throughout the country in various stages of completion, employing hundreds of dancers, chorines, and musicians. The idea was to give stage performers work who had been rendered unemployed by the advent of the "talkies." In the finale, the enterprising stage producer was compelled to prove himself by showcasing a triple-whammy of his 'prologue' shows. [Note: In some markets, the film was titled "PROLOGUES."]

The film's taglines were:

  • "YOUTH CHARM AND BEAUTY DANCE THEIR WAY INTO YOUR HEART IN 'FOOTLIGHT PARADE'"
  • "SEE 300 BEAUTIES LIKE THIS IN 'FOOTLIGHT PARADE'"
  • "Jimmy Cagney singing and dancing for the first time on the screen!"

Former Broadway dance director Busby Berkeley, a transplant from Broadway musical-directing, was the one responsible for the show-stopping 'prologues' in this film. He was the first to truly realize that a filmed musical was totally different from a staged musical, with the camera becoming an integral participant with the choreography. He was becoming known for his trademark sensual, kaleidoscopic patterns of carefully-positioned, often scantily-clad chorus girls with props photographed from above (his "top shot"), from swooping cranes, from the trench below the stage, or from cameras placed on specially-designed tracks to capture audacious camera movements. He was also responsible for the 'chorine close-up' shot.

In most of Berkeley's unique and highly-stylized productions including this one - particularly in his climactic 'By a Waterfall' number, emphasis was placed on very outlandish sets and props, including a giant waterfall and a five-story rotating human-water fountain. He used his chorines not as individuals but as attractive parts of large yet abstract geometric patterns moving with precise choreography. The images could be animated tiles in vast, ever-shifting mosaics, fanciful screen compositions or cascading designs. Often, he would use his legendary cinematic "top view" shot to capture the kaleidoscopic views. He was able to display the female form through these abstract designs, many with legs wide open or body parts seen in close-up. He dressed his actresses often in preposterous costumes, sometimes as coins or musical instruments (or as swimmers). It was commonplace to see the chorus girls wearing next to nothing but scanty lingerie, wisps of gauze, or barely-there bathing suits.

The star of director Lloyd Bacon's backstage, behind-the-scenes show-business musical was James Cagney in his first on-screen singing-and-dancing musical role. Cagney's varied career featured him in both tough guy roles, such as Tom Powers in Public Enemy (1931) and Cody Jarrett in White Heat (1949), as well as in song-and-dance roles such as this one - and perhaps his most famous musical role was as real-life Broadway impresario George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). In this first musical portrayal, he starred as briefly-unemployed, enterprising and lively (yet crazed) Broadway theatrical-musical producer Chester Kent, with Joan Blondell as his loyal, faithful, dedicated and long-suffering secretary Nan Prescott who looked after him. [Note: Cagney's role was allegedly patterned after Chester Hale, a well-known, real-life impressario, or even after choreographer Berkeley himself. The role also could later have served as the model for Bob Fosse's alter-ego in All That Jazz (1979).]

Its familiar plot was a typical-for-the-time backstage tale about putting on a lavish show - in this case, touring stage productions for major motion-picture houses. The eventual premise was that Kent was compelled - in only three days - to create three complete, fantastic, live, spectacular and show-stopping miniature musicals (known as "prologues") for movie theatres as an added pre-show featured attraction for their patrons during the early days of talkies.

[Note: The plot was modeled after Los Angeles' Fanchon and Marco production company located on Sunset Boulevard, that actually created staged musical 'prologues' for performances in movie theaters. In the early days of cinema, live mini-musical 'prologues' were often presented on stage in the larger movie houses (a carry-over from vaudeville days) - full-scale productions with costumes and scenery and thematic content related to the feature film. The 'prologue' era was short-lived, however, when cheaper B-pictures were adopted and became the second featured film attraction.]

The thin plot was an excuse to show off the elaborate and extravagant choreographed Berkeley production numbers. [Note: Realistically, it was unlikely that any of the elaborate concluding numbers could be performed in any existing movie house.] In fact, there were four musical "prologues" in the film - although the first one, a cat-themed song-and-dance, was very brief ("Sittin' on a Backyard Fence") and part of a rehearsal. The extravagant musical finale was capped by three tremendous, back-to-back performances:

  • "Honeymoon Hotel" - by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics)
  • "By a Waterfall" - by Sammy Fain (music) and Irving Kahal (lyrics)
  • "Shanghai Lil" - by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics)

For the five years before the Hays Production Code of 1934 went into effect, the film's dance choreographer Busby Berkeley had already been featuring barely-clad bathing beauty starlets in his extravagant productions. And now, he climaxed his techniques in Footlight Parade (1933), especially in its teasing and naughty "By A Waterfall" sequence. The film was also notable for its suggestive pre-Hays Code risque dialogue and some of the questionable relationships - parts of which were heavily edited or disguised by censors.

The musical was budgeted at $703,000 (estimated), mostly because the three production numbers that comprised the last 30 minutes of the film each cost about $10,000/minute, and each of them lasted at least 12 minutes (the length of a reel of film). The film's box-office revenue was $1.6 million (domestic), and it was ranked as the # 8 film at the box-office for 1933.

No Academy Award Nominations.

The Story


Opening Title Credits:

During the opening credits, a medley of tunes played, including the film's major soundtrack songs: "Shanghai Lil" and "By a Waterfall," followed by video credits - individual clips of each of the cast's stars.

The Coming of the Talkies - A Threat to Movie Theater Musical Productions:

A byline on an electrical, rotating news-screen or news-strip in downtown New York City on the Times Square Tower announced the end to the silent era and stage shows: "HOLLYWOOD, CALIF - MOTION PICTURE PRODUCERS ANNOUNCE ONLY TALKING PICTURES WILL BE MADE IN FUTURE - SILENT PICTURES ARE FINISHED." Viewing the sign, disbelieving Broadway stage musical producer Chester Kent (James Cagney) spoke to his assistant Harry Thompson (Gordon Westcott) and declared that talkies were only a temporary phenomenon ("It's a fad"), and boasted about how legitimate staged theater would survive: "I've staged 50 musical comedies and I'll stage 50 more." He was currently working on musical numbers with two other producers: Al Frazer (Arthur Hohl) and Silas "Si" Gould (Guy Kibbee).

But then, in the offices of Frazer and Gould, his employers, Kent was told that their work together on musical productions was being squeezed out and curtailed because the art form had become an endangered type of entertainment due to the rise of new talkie theaters. The public was abandoning live stage performances for the movies: "You can't give the public what they don't want...People ain't paying for shows no more. Talking pictures is what they want." The two producers told how they were converting over to the "picture business" as exhibitors in four movie houses, to make more money from films than stage productions: "They deliver the show in tin cans and we got nothing to worry about." Without a demand for Broadway-styled musical shows, Kent feared that he would lose his employment and livelihood.

The producers urged Kent to join them and visit a nearby movie theater - where Gould extolled how money could now be made more easily in 'talking pictures': "It's a lot better to fill your theater 10 times a day at 40 cents a ticket than to charge $5 a seat and have it half-filled once a night." They stood at the back of the theatre and watched the concluding scene of the screening of the B-western film The Telegraph Trail (1933) (starring John Wayne and Marceline Day). After the movie ended, the stage curtain rose on a tacky dance and musical production featuring a harem of inept belly-dancers in a Middle-Eastern themed performance. Gould acknowledged that it was a competitive transitionary period and theatre owners were still offering short live shows (or "prologues") between screenings to satisfy audiences. The "prologues" were designed to be thematic and related to the movie: "So we give them a little prologue to fit the picture," but Gould complained that bigger, large-scale song-and-dance spectacles were becoming too costly and expensive to produce:

"It cost more than the picture...After this, we're giving our customers talking pictures and nothing else."

Kent predicted that he would be out of a job soon: "I gotta break the bad news to the wife. Bread line, I hear you calling me." In his NYC apartment, he told his wife Cynthia Kent (Renee Whitney) the 'bad news':

"Public wants talking pictures and talking pictures only...They're not doing any more musical shows...Is it my fault if somebody invented talking pictures?"

His spoiled, mercenary and materialistic wife immediately presented him with divorce papers to sign, now that Kent could no longer buy her clothes and provide her with good times.

The Assembly-Line, Chain-Store Idea Applied to Movie Theater 'Prologues':

In a drugstore where Kent was purchasing aspirin (at $.18 cents for a bottle), he asked the clerk (Busby Berkeley) how the store kept prices down compared to their competitors. He learned about the concept of chain-stores that could sell products cheaper than independent stores due to volume: "We buy in big lots. When you're buying for one store, you get soaked. When you're buying for 100 -- " - Kent was immediately inspired by the business model ("the chain-store idea") of large-scale (and cheaper) production that could apply to "prologues" (short stage musicals to precede films in large motion picture theaters).

With his headache gone, Kent returned to Gould and Frazer to pitch the idea and convince them to place their confidence in factory-like produced, live musical "prologues" for movie houses - applying the chain-store or factory business model. Multiple 'prologues' would be rehearsed simultaneously with a rotating group of "prologue" performers, organized into units as dancers, singers, musicians, that would populate inexpensive, "ready-made" stock routines or shows that could tour the country visiting different cities, and regularly provide rotating entertainment in the movie theatres to fill the growing demand:

"When you've got one drugstore, you charge 25 cents for aspirin. But when you're buying for 100 stores, you get it for less, so you sell it for 17 cents....When you put on one prologue, it's too expensive. But when the same prologue plays 25, 50, 100 houses, it doesn't cost a cent more, get it?...The same scenery, same costumes, put them on once and they stay put on....Play them all over Chicago, all over the country. Exhibitors everywhere will be tickled pink to get ready-made prologues....It's a cinch, because you can give them swell prologues - cheaper than they can put them on themselves. Why? Because you're in the chain store business....Boys, your name'll be up in lights from the rock bottom coast of Maine to the sunny strands of California."

'Prologue' Impresario Chester Kent With His Secretary Nan Prescott, and Production Assistant Bea Thorn:

The new sign in front of the Frazer & Gould Studio (with a sub-title "Home of Chester Kent Prologues") confirmed that Kent's idea had become successful. Kent was promoting his new partnership with the studio, and serving as his studio's President. The production lobby and waiting room was bustling with eager hopefuls seeking employment and auditions, all supervised by Kent. In an inner office, the extremely-driven, hard-working Kent often worked through the night on ideas for upcoming 'prologues' while also dealing with promotional marketing and the threat of competitors.

He excitedly described his latest thematic "prologue" idea to Nan Prescott (Joan Blondell) - his unglamorous, yet very competent, sensible, thoughtful and intelligent Girl Friday secretary:

"I got an idea. Cats! I was walking on the street and saw some cats. You ever see cats walk? Just like that. A regular dance rhythm....I got the whole thing all mapped out. Seven boys and seven girls, tomcats and pussycats, that's down in one. Then we go to full stage with an alley drop, with the ash cans and a board fence. Then we have twelve little girls come out in kitten costumes. They're the children, see?"

She urged him to pay more attention to his health and sanity: "If you don't let up, you're going to meow yourself into a padded cell," and he agreed to slow down, although he still thought his idea was phenomenal. Kent had grown the business and was supervising a massive number of factory-like production facilities throughout the country (indicated by pins stuck into a gigantic wall map of the US), including Kansas City - with its 'Gay Nineties' unit. When she was asked to make a phone call to Harry, she expressed her dislike for him - and truthfully revealed her own unrequited love for Kent, although he seemed clueless and didn't notice:

Nan: "Just don't like him, that's all."
Kent: "Sometimes I get the feeling you don't like anybody."
Nan: "If you only knew."

Kent's production assistant Bea Thorn (Ruby Keeler), a mousy, matronly-looking, bespectacled office secretary with round-framed glasses and closely-cropped hair, entered with news of expansion: "Gould signed 30 more theaters," prompting Kent to worry: "Oh, that means I've got to think of three new prologues a week." She also mentioned that the 'Bridesmaid' unit needed six more mirrors. Then, a phone call brought more bad news - a theater in Savannah, Georgia had burned down and ruined all the costumes and scenery affecting the "Soldier Girl" unit, so Bea suggested that the group (in their last week) be recalled. Kent was complimentary about Bea's thoughtful, super-efficient, quick-thinking suggestions, while ignorant and oblivious to the bright-eyed and caring Nan who was completely responsive to his every need, although lovelorn:

Kent: "There's a girl for ya."
Nan: "What kind of a girl?"
Kent: "With brains! You can buy beautiful women a dime a dozen. She's got it up here."
Nan: "So have I."
Kent: "What?"
Nan: "A headache."
Kent: (chuckling) "Always the rap."

Kent's assistant Harry Thompson rushed in and proposed a new "prologue" and unit suggestion: "All the girls come in dressed as different flowers. See? Then for a finish, the leading lady is the American Beauty rose." Kent refused to take Harry's idea - distastefully remembering when it had been performed by the Shuberts in 1912. He handed him his 'Cat idea' instead for production. Another phone call reported trouble - a pair of performers were lost in the traveling "Iceland" unit: "Juvenile man married the leading lady. They're both in the hospital." Kent ordered Nan to have the leads replaced with a scandal-proof "already-married" couple. He also instructed Nan to type up his notes on two more ideas: a 'Jig-Saw Puzzle' and 'Willow Tree' unit.

Kent's Many Challenges in Putting on 'Prologues':

In Gould's office, his annoying and excitable wife Mrs. Harriet Gould (Ruth Donnelly) was encouraging Kent to hire her new protege Scotty Blair (Dick Powell), an aspiring tenor-crooner from Arkansas College: "Scott's a lovely singer and dancer. Isn't he, Si? Why, he won his spurs in college shows....Scott is such a dear boy with the sweetest tenor voice." Outside the office, Bea met the "ready and eager" Scotty and in a prickly exchange, she discouraged him from applying - sensing that he was one of Harriet's gigolos or 'office boys': "Well, as far as I know, we have all the office boys we need...Our shows play in theaters, not colleges."

[Note: In this pre-Code film that critiqued the morality of the time, it was clear that Scott's main qualification for the job was because he was sleeping with the boss’s wife.]

Kent was reluctantly forced to hire Scotty and place him in the newly-formed "Cat" unit. He led Scotty through a series of large studios or rehearsal halls, including a costume-design area and a dance routine practice area, where he introduced him to dance director Mac (Lee Moran). Although Scotty was another unneeded addition, Kent dropped him off with Mac anyway ("He's yours, now"), and proceeded into another stage rehearsal.

The 'Prosperity' unit's show practice was in progress, with singers and dancers following the direction of Francis (Frank McHugh):

(vocal) "In springtime, in falltime
I face the sun at all times
I'm one step ahead of my shadow
It's rainbows and bubbles
Reducing all my troubles
I'm having a jolly time
Telling the world that I'm
One step ahead of my shadow."

After watching, Kent was dissatisfied: "Hold it, hold it...This number's as dead as Chelsea's tonsils....This is a 'Prosperity' unit. Some life and some pep. Dance on your feet, don't die on 'em. Here's the way to attack that finish. Come on, let's go...You got it?...All right, then do it." He demonstrated how to put energy into their dance. The very depressed, whiny, and exasperated Francis complained about the many worries he had, and blamed some of his lackluster dancers. Gould arrived to announced that the 'Prosperity' unit had to be disbanded, because their competitive rival production company, Gladstone, had already stolen the idea. Kent was exasperated:

"I slave day and night worrying about ideas and Gladstone steals them. He's been doing it for months."

Kent was forced to put the 'Cat' number into the rehearsal schedule right away, under Francis' direction, but since he was unfamiliar with cat behavior, Kent urged him to retrieve and study his own black cat and mimic its movements. However, Kent was then reminded by the theatrical production company’s dim-witted, in-house censor-advisor Charlie Bowers (Hugh Herbert) (also recommended for the job by Charlie's sister Harriet) that the 'Cat' production was also off-limits:

"I got bad news for you, Chester. You can't use the Cat idea....It's my job to see that our 'prologues' fit in with the censor's regulations. I'm only doing my duty."

[Note: The character of the buffoonish censor provided mockery of the Hays Code censorship that was plaguing movies at the time.]

Kent thought the idea of censoring a production about cats was absurd - he made an hilarious comment about whether the promiscuous cats were married before producing kittens:

Kent: "Oh, I see, the tomcats and the pussycats are all right. But the kittens are illegitimate....unless they're married by a preacher cat. No preacher cat, no kittens."
Charlie: "No, you can't use it in 39 cities."

He threatened to fire Charlie, although Kent was met with the censor's protest: "You can't fire me. Mrs. Gould's my sister."

Kent was also met by the music director Fralick (Herman Bing) who had located all of the 'cat music' he could find in the library for Kent's new 'prologue' show: "Cat and the Fiddle, Kitten on the Keys, You are the Cats, Cats on Parade, Cat's Meow, Crazy Cat, Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been? Me and My Cat Both Love You, and Love Me and Love My Cat."

Back in his office, Kent's no-good assistant Harry Thompson announced he had accepted a new position as Gladstone 'Prologues' General Director. After Harry departed, Kent suspected that he was the organization's 'mole': "I bet that's our leak." Nan discouraged Kent from retaliating against the "dirty, lowdown---", and forced him to realize that he would probably fail at his new job anyway: "He'll wind up jerking sodas when he has to think of his own ideas." Kent put his arm around Nan, and then thought of another strategy to promote dance instruction, but Nan's suggestion of Bea Thorn (a former vaudevillian) for a dance-teacher position was quickly brushed aside:

Kent: "I'm gonna keep a half a dozen of the chorus people here as models, teaching new kids the steps. Like it?" (She rested her head on his shoulder, and affirmatively nodded)
Nan: "Yes, I do. Say, I'll tell you somebody who'd be swell for a job like that...Bea Thorn....oh, but she's a swell dancer. Used to do a turn in vaudeville."
Kent: "No, I don't think she'd be interested."
Nan: "Whatever you say, boss."

Kent was also persuaded by Gould and his wife Harriet not to dismiss her brother Charlie from his censor job. However, Kent warned the 'blue-nose' to stay away from him. Afterwards, Harriet - a staunch believer in nepotism, threatened her hen-pecked husband: "And don't you dare let him fire any more of my relatives."

During practice for the 'Cat' unit, the dancers were clumsily imitating cat behavior, and Kent critiqued Francis: "Hold it, hold it, hold it. These are cats, not elephants....I want that certain rhythm....What you've got to do is watch that cat." Francis complained:

Francis: "I hate cats. I can't get away from him. I've done everything but sleep with him."
Kent: "Well, sleep with him. You've gotta get it. Now go to work."

Kent was then notified by Bea that the 'Egyptian' unit of 29 people had returned from their tour. He immediately rescheduled them for a rehearsal the next morning: "We'll put them in the 'Mechanical Doll' unit." Censor Charlie piped up:

Charlie: "You must put brassieres on those dolls. Oh, you know Connecticut."
Kent: (joking) "What do they have to do in Massachusetts? Wear red flannel drawers?"

During the proceedings, Scotty tried to impress Bea with his singing voice: ("I got a tenor voice people come miles to hear. Here's a sample of it") by attempting to croon a verse of "You're the Flower of My Heart, Sweet Adeline," but she was bitingly sarcastic: "You must've gone over awful big at Arkansas College." She pawned him off on his gushy admirer Harriet Gould.

At the end of the long, frustrating day, in the quiet and dark of the office, Nan reminded Kent that it was time to quit: "Closing time." He pondered the meaning of the entire enterprise - as they began to suspect another major challenging issue: cheating. It was possible that the profits, creative ideas and benefits of Kent's hard work were being siphoned off by his backers and other informers:

Kent: "Yeah, another day, another gray hair. Wonder what it's getting me."
Nan: "You're a one-third partner, aren't you?"
Kent: "Yep. My third does all the work."
Nan: "While the other two-thirds drag down the money."
Kent: "Yeah. Maybe it's better to be one of the help. You know, I'm supposed to be getting a percentage of the profits. But so far everything's gone back into production."
Nan: "So they say. Why don't you do some investigating?"
Kent: "I'm too busy. I'm daffy trying to think up new ideas. We've done everything. 'Soldier Girl' Unit, 'Bull Fighters', 'Blue Girls', 'Ghost,' 'Baby Dolls,' 'Voo-Doo,' 'Rus'n Revolution.' There's nothing left in the world. A unit a week. Where am I gonna get any more ideas? When I do get 'em, Gladstone steals 'em. I'm falling apart."
Nan: "Why don't you get something to eat and go right home?"
Kent: "No, I can't. I gotta stay and dovetail all this 'Cat unit' stuff."
Nan: "If I promise to take them home with me, would you go right to bed?"
Kent: "It's a bargain. (pause) Say, what's the name of that foreigner that built the monster he couldn't stop?"
Nan: "Frankenstein."
Kent: "Shake hands with his Aunt Emma.... (after a few moments) Frankenstein - swell idea for a unit."

Problems and challenges were piling up for Kent:

  • the continual demand to creatively invent new ideas for 'units'
  • the coordination and support of a nationwide network of prologue 'units'
  • a number of personnel and morale issues amongst the casts and rehearsal directors
  • nepotistic pressures from Gould's wife to show favoritism and hire (and not fire) her acquaintances without regard to merit
  • an unknown spy in Kent's organization who was plagiarizing his dance 'unit' ideas and providing them to the competition (Gladstone)
  • the violation of censorship rules that kept limiting the subject matter of the 'prologues'
  • the selection of music for the different shows
  • the possibility that Kent's profits and hard work were being siphoned and skimmed off by his backers

Conniving Females: Gracie with Harry, and Vivian with Kent:

When Nan returned to her apartment later that night, she encountered her rapacious friend Vivian Rich (Claire Dodd) - a previously low-class, down-and-out, facetious, aspiring young female actress and acquaintance who had failed in Hollywood and moved back in - without permission:

Vivian: "I knew you wouldn't mind putting me up for a day or two."
Nan: "I thought you were in Hollywood."
Vivian: "I was, but pictures bored me. So little culture out there, my dear."
Nan: "What is this culture gag all of a sudden?...Last time I saw you, your conversation was practically dese, dems, and doses."
Vivian: "We grow up, you know."

Shortly later in the evening, Kent arrived to retrieve his 'Cat unit' notes from Nan, and was immediately fawned over by the conniving and seductive gold digger Vivian: "In California, I never missed a Chester Kent Prologue. They were all so... what shall I say? Intellectually devised....Every one had a definite central theme. Brains, you know....Most prologues, Mr. Kent, are utterly commonplace. But yours, yours have meaning. What was it Ruskin said? 'That intangible something.'" Nan interrupted, asking: "What ever happened to that boyfriend of yours? Is he still a bootlegger?" Vivian's comment about a book titled 'Slavery in Old Africa' inspired another 'unit' idea in Kent - an astonishingly racist premise:

"I can see it now. Pretty girls in black face. Slaves of Old Africa. White men capture them."

He and Vivian left to locate a bookstore that carried the book, and afterwards to have dinner, leaving Nan alone as he trailed after Vivian: "Never mind the outline. I think I've got a new one."

Meanwhile, Harry Thompson (hired away by Gladstone) was pumping information from his chorine girlfriend Gracie (Barbara Rogers), one of Kent's employees: ("Give me the dope. What's happening at Frazer and Gould's?"). The turncoat reported on Kent's 'Mechanical Doll' unit idea: "The girls dress like mechanical dolls and the boys wind them up."

Bea and Scotty:

The next day, a new musical arrangement was delivered by Bea to the hypochondriacal Francis while he was rehearsing the new 'Cat' routine, and he groused and carped about the many annoyances of his job: "I've got everything on my shoulders. Music, costume, girls, cats. And now I'm beginning to sniffle. I feel as though I'm coming down with a dreadful...." He also complained about the new singer, Scotty, who was late to the rehearsal. Bea reprimanded Scotty when he arrived late: "Mr. Kent is very strict about chorus people being on time." Scotty explained that he had been thrown out of the chorus. Francis joined them in conversation and made more fretful complaints about his total upset: "My hair's turning gray with so much on my mind....All these annoyances piling up..."

Bea learned that the previous night, Scotty had been made a "principal' performer-singer in the 'Cat' unit's 'prologue' show, and was not just a chorus member. The couple spitefully bid each other goodbye - with nicknames:

Scotty: "So long, time clock."
Bea: "So long, kahuna."


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