Lindsay-Abaire and Brown to Collaborate on Betty Boop Musical

News   Lindsay-Abaire and Brown to Collaborate on Betty Boop Musical David Lindsay-Abaire and Jason Robert Brown are collaborating on a new musical based on the classic cartoon character Betty Boop, producer Robyn Goodman told Playbill On-Line.
Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire
Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire

The two artists have previously worked together on Lindsay-Abaire's plays (Fuddy Meers, Kimberly Akimbo), which Brown has scored. On the new project, Brown, the author Parade and The Last Five Years, will compose while Lindsay-Abaire will pen the book. Goodman said the script treats Boop as a character (a la Little Orphan Annie in Annie) and builds a story around her, drawing in part on the plots of the Betty features. Goodman indicated that Brown may find musical inspiration in the Louis Armstrong and Cab Callaway styles of jazz that were often parodied in the cartoons. Goodman and fellow producer Andrew Farber hope to put together a workshop in summer 2004.

Betty Boop was one of the most enduring animated creations of the past century. The work of Max Fleisher and Fleisher studios, she starred in a long series of cartoon shorts during the 1930s. Her name, spit-curl hair style and character were drawn from popular singer Helen Kane, the so-called "Boop Oop a Doop" girl.

A liberated but seemingly innocent flapper, Betty's eyes and head were as big and her cupid's bow mouth and black dress were small. Forever fending off the advances of lustful males and often found in a unlooked-for state of undress, her persona was perhaps the most sexual ever bestowed upon an animated character. Since a revival of her cartoons in the 1960s, Betty has lived on as an icon and made cameo appearances in films like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."

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