The Jan. 29 show of CBS's "60 Minutes II" will include a segment on the City Center Encores! musical series, specifically focusing on its 2001 concert version of Bloomer Girl. The "60 Minutes II" team follows the cast and crew of the show from rehearsals to performance, interviewing many of the show's stars along the way. Encores! presentations are famously cast and staged over a short period of time. Bloomer Girl featured Kate Jennings Grant, Michael Park, Philip Bosco, Anita Gillette, Kathleen Chalfant, and Jubilant Sykes. It ran March 22-25, 2001.
The little-known 1944 Harold Arlen-E.Y. Harburg work is about women's rights, a northern family, a Kentucky suitor and a runaway slave, and is set on the eve of The Civil War. Celeste Holm, hot from Oklahoma!, starred in the original as Evelina, the fictitious niece of Dolly Bloomer, the publisher of The Lily, an early feminist and abolitionist publication. Evelina's father is a prominent hoopskirts manufacturer. The action centers around Dolly and Evelina's attempts to end the wearing of hoopskirts in favor of the much less confining and inhibiting bloomers. The show also shows the women's efforts to help an escaped slave to freedom via the Underground Railroad.
—By Robert Simonson
and Kenneth Jones