Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The nationwide search for an actress to play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind formed the basis of Claire Booth Luce's satirical Broadway comedy Kiss the Boys Goodbye. By the time the film version came out in 1941, Gone With the Wind was yesterday's news, but the picture still manage to elicit loud laughter from moviegoers bombarded by bad news from Europe. When Broadway producer Bert Fusher (Jerome Cowan) decides to produce a lavish musical version of a best-selling civil war novel, he dispatches director Lloyd Lloyd (Don Ameche) and composer Dick Rayburn (Oscar Levant) to the Deep South, in search of a genuine Southern-belle leading lady. Lloyd and Rayburn end up on the Georgia plantation of Tom Rumson (Raymond Walburn), where they are forced to sit through an impromptu audition by Rumson's niece Cindy Lou Bethany (Mary Martin). Lloyd can't stand the girl, but Rayburn is enchanted by her-never suspecting that Cindy Lou is a phony, who prior to this meeting had never stepped below the Mason-Dixon line. Eventually, Lloyd and Cindy Lou fall in love and the show goes on. Many of playwright Luce's more pointed barbs have been blunted by the Hollywood censors, with the more pungent gags replaced by lavish musical numbers. Still, Kiss the Boys Goodbye is a lot of fun, especially whenever the magnificent Elizabeth Patterson (cast as Mary Martin's unreconstructed-southerner aunt) takes center stage.
stage, actor, audition, backstage, beauty [physical], behind-the-scenes, casting, director, handsome, love, musical [play], performer, romance, search, show, show-business, Southerner, stars [celebrities], talent, boy, kiss