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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Heels’ puts new spin on icon

    We’ve all heard her name. Ginger Rogers: the vivacious blonde starlet who danced her way into the heart of classic American movie-musicals. She was also the legendary partner of Fred Astaire and an Academy Award-winning best actress in 1940.

    But how many of us know her life story? From now through Oct. 2, the Arizona Theatre Company is offering an entertaining performance about the life and career of Ginger Rogers.

    This musical, entitled “”Backwards in High Heels,”” follows Ginger’s life from childhood to her eventual rise to fame. The show presents Ginger Rogers as an adorable, talented and ambitious performer who worked hard to make it big in Hollywood. In the words of associate choreographer Cameron Henderson, “”She had it in her, she just was going to do it no matter what. She was quite a remarkable lady.””

    The show is charming and witty — with all the energy and charisma of Ginger herself. “”Backwards in High Heels”” was written by Christopher McGovern, who creates just enough drama interspersed with smart dialogue and quick-witted jokes. The production keeps an upbeat pace, filled with jazzy musical numbers and clever choreography.

    The amount of talent in the show is also impressive. In fact, the entire play is cast with only six actors. The actresses who play Ginger and her mother Lela only take one part, but the other four actors play multiple roles. Despite the double-dipping, each new character is unique and believable. And because of expert costuming, it’s nearly impossible to tell that they’re the same people. Likewise, the sheer number of costumes is incredible. Ginger alone has over 20 outfits and each piece stays true to the setting of the 1930s and 1940s.

    Altogether, the believability and excitement of the play is made possible by a fusion of all the elements. Set, song, dance, choreography, acting, costuming, lighting and writing are all impressive individually. When they come together, the result is creative and entertaining storytelling. “”Backwards in High Heels”” is a witty reimagining of actual events and people. It offers a fun, relatable show through an old story.

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