Greenwich Theatre plays host to Over My Shoulder, a lively, small-scale musical about Jessie Matthews, from May 13-17. The show's title comes from one of her best-known songs (others include “Gangway” and “Dancing on the Ceiling”). The musical captures the essence of the young woman who went from the poverty of a Soho childhood to international stage and screen stardom.
Her passport to success in films like “Evergreen” in 1934 — where she made the song “Daddy Wouldn't Buy me a Bow-Wow” miraculously sound sexy and sophisticated — was an extraordinary talent as a dancer, combined with striking good looks, an acting ability and an attractive singing voice. Her heyday was the 1930’s, but in later life (the 1960’s) she found renewed fame as Mrs. Dale in the hugely popular radio series “Mrs. Dale's Diaries.”
Ann Rogers heads a cast (as the older Jessie Matthews) that includes Helen Baker as the young, ferociously ambitious Jessie and the talented Stephen Carlile as Fred Astaire. Carlile recently played the title role in Snoopy at the Jermyn Street Theatre.
Over My Shoulder, written by Richard Stirling, directed by Stewart Nicholls and with musical arrangements by Rowland Lee, runs at the Greenwich Theatre through May 17.