1947: Three Indelicate Ladies

Three Indelicate Ladies

Three Indelicate Ladies 1947 by Florence VandammBela Lugosi as Francis X. O’Rourke.

Photograph by Florence Vandamm

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 24, 1946

Addenda

Three Indelicate Ladies, Pitsburgh Post-Gazette, September 24, 1946

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Times-Picayune, March 1, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies Hollywood by Hedda Hopper, Times-Picayune, March 1, 1947

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 Boston Traveler, April 11, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Traveler, April 11, 1947

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The Billboard, April 12, 1947

Burlesque

By UNO

…Joey Faye, comic, has shelved his nitery unit and is rehearsing with Bela Lugosi and the Three Indelicate Ladies… 

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Three Indelicate Ladies

Ann Thomas as Morgan and Bela Lugosi as Francis X. O’Rourke

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April 10-12, 1947

Schubert Theater, New Haven, Connecticut

3 indelicate ladies 1

3 indelicate ladies 2

3 indelicate ladies 3

3 indelicate ladies 4

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3 indelicate ladies broadside

Broadside

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Yale Daily News no. 139, April 11, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies - Yale Daily News no. 139 April 11 1947 PLAYBILL.

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Three Indelicate Ladies

Elaine Stritch as Roberts and Bela Lugosi as Francis X. O’Rourke

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The Billboard, April 19, 1947

OUT-OF-TOWN OPENINGS

THREE INDELICATE LADIES

SHUBERT THEATER, NEW HAVEN, CONN.

A mystery-comedy by Hugh Evens. Directed by Jessie Royce Landis. Setting and lighting, Stewart Chaney. Gowns, Robert Lanza. Production associate, Thomas Elwell, Company Manager, Ralph Kravette. Press Representative, Dick Weaver. General Stage Manager, Phil Johnson. Presented by Hunt Stromberg Jr. and Thomas Spengler (in association with Irving Cooper).

Kelly…………………………..Jayn Portner

Roberts………………………Elaine Stritch

Mr. Max…………………………….Joey Paye

Morgan………………………….Ann Thomas

Alfred Brook……………..Alexander Clark

Sam Phelps……………………Ray Walston

Joe The Heart…………………Jack Arnold

Francis X. O’Rourke…………Bela Lugosi

Mrs. Henrietta Brook….Francis Brandt

Bernice Desos…………..Katherine Squire

Gus………………………….Charles Mendick

Police Sergeant…………..Robert Schuler

Paul Austin……………….Stratton Walling

There is no doubt that Hugh Evans has written a very funny play in Three Indelicate Ladies, but the show that unveiled in New Haven needs a lot of sprucing before it is ready for a Stem audience. Its plot is good and there are many hilarious scenes, but the pacing is so far off that the first-nighters found themselves stifling yawns between the guffaws. While Ladies employs several of the tricks used in Arsenic and Old Lace, the two shows are by no means comparable. After a lot of hard work by both the author and the director, this new one may yet blossom into a first-rater.

Bela Lugosi, who is starred, is almost criminally miscast. Playing a rough, tough gangster named Francis X. O’Rouke, Lugosi is unable to bring any semblance of credibility to the part. It is extremely hard for the audience to accept an Hungarian accent and the O’Rouke tag (although the author tries to explain it off by having Lugosi born in Finland – making him “Mick-y Finn”). The cigar chewing, rough-and-tumble guy is not up Bela’s alley, so the audience never once was able to give the character the response that a William Bendix would have received.

Gal Steals Show

Ann Thomas, playing one of her typical Dumb Doras, walked off with the show without too much trouble. While most of the other principals tended to play the roles too broadly and fall out of character, she maintained a steady pace and was able to get every laugh out of her lines. Jayne Fortner and Elaine Stitch, cast as the other two indelicate ladies, showed their ability to play farce, but were betrayed by a decided tendency to overplay in the big scenes.

Frances Brandt, in a short bit as one of the victims, did an exceptionally good job as an eccentric old lady, while Katherine Squire, as her niece, played the rather difficult role right to the hilt. Joey Faye, as a highly impressionable furniture dealer, was grand with his short bit, and by use of the mugging technique he has developed got a lot more out of the lines than the author wrote in. Alexander Clark, Ray Walston, Jack Arnold, Charles Mendick, Robert Schuler and Stratton Walling all handled their bit parts to perfection.

Direction Weak

Jessie Royce Landis has not done a particularly distinguished job of directing. The pacing was noticeably bad and too many characters spoke lines either too far upstage or away for the audience, so that whole sequences were lost. Miss Landis, a top-drawer thesp herself, has a lot more to learn in her new endeavor. Stewart Chaney’s single setting and his lighting of the show were in his usual Grade A manner.

In sum, Three Indelicate Ladies can be developed into a first-rate farce with a rewrite of Act 1, a general revamping of the show’s pacing, a tightening of the entire production and a much different third act curtain, along with some necessary recasting.

Sidney Golly.

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April 14-19, 1947

Wilbur Theater, Boston, Massachusetts

Boston Herald, March 30, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Herald, March 30, 1947

Boston Traveler, April 2, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Traveler, April 2, 1947

Boston Traveler April 7, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Traveler, April 7, 1947

Boston Herald, April 11, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Herald, April 11, 1947

The Times-Picayune, February 13, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, The Times-Picayune, February 13, 1947

Boston Sunday Herald, April 13, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Sunday Herald, April 13, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Sunday Herald, April 13, 1947 2

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Herald, April 13, 1947

Boston Herald, April 14, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Herald, April 14, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Herald, April 14, 1947 2

 Boston Traveler, April 15, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Herald, April 15, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Traveler, April 15, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Traveler, April 15, 1947 2

Boston Traveler, April 16, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Traveler, April 16, 1947

Boston Sunday Herald, April 17, 1947

Three Indelicate Ladies, Boston Sunday Herald, April 17, 1947

The Billboard, May 3, 1947

Burlesque

By UNO

JOEY FAYE, assisted by Bela Lugosi and others of the cast of Three Indelicate Ladies in Boston last week, invaded the stage of the Casino during the Friday midnighter and gave an impromptu interpretation of Fluegel Street bit. It was a burly debut for all except Faye….

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