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Reporting on movies, film festivals, film production, premieres, movie events, industry trends and plays from around the world


“Dames At Sea" is a great opportunity to to see a good old fashioned story that still rings true today

Marissa Mayer (l.), Chuck McLane, Katie Franqueira, Ruben Bravo, Jennifer Knox               Photographer: Gina Long



“Dames At Sea" is a terrifically entertaining musical that is now playing at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. A great  opportunity to see a good old fashioned story that still rings true today. The musical was originally taken from a short

sketch, based on Warner Bros. “Gold Diggers” movies with the lavish staging of Busby Berkeley.  In 1969 the Off Broadway production won Best performance for Bernadette Peters, as well as Outstanding Director and Outstanding Lyrics.


It’s the all American story of girl from a small town, who comes to the big city to become a star, and meet and marry a rich, successful man. Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney looked for a barn to produce their show in “Babes In Arms.”  Not so different  than story in the more recent film, “LA LA Land” where  the present day leads arrive to fulfill their dreams and fall in love.


Although we no longer call women dames, “Dames At Sea," which premiered off Broadway in 1968, and made a star of Bernadette Peters, still holds up today. The original show won Best Off-Broadway show and Peters Best Off-Broadway actress. On August 27, 1969, the show opened at LondonDuchess Theatre, where it ran for 127 performances. “Dames At Sea” was  written by George Haimsohn, Jim Wise, and Robin Miller originally a short sketch, based on the Gold Diggers movies. The character of “Ruby” was suggested by Ruby Keeler from those early Busby Berkley movies. The show went on to great success on Broadway, expanded to a U.S. national tour and a movie.



Joshua Finkel directs the Sierra Madre Playhouse Production. Sean Paxton is the musical director. He was an Ovation Award nominee for “Patsy Cline,” which also premiered at the playhouse.  Choreography is by tap dance expert Jeffrey Scott Parsons, set design by always terrific, Jeff C. Rack, who transforms the stage completely between the two acts. The cast who all are triple threats: Ruben Bravo, Katie Franqueira, Jennifer Knox, Marissa Mayer, Chuck McLand and Aaron Shaw provide a glorious fast paced performance throughout.


Underwriters:  Ward & Louise Calaway and Maggie & David Gordon

Artistic Director/Producer Christian Lebano



CLASSIC MOVIES PLAYING at Sierra Madre Playhouse:

June 26th: Gold Diggers of 1933, also starring Ginger Rodgers and Dick Powell. 

July 3:  Yankee Doodle Dandy

July 10: Footlight Parade

Admission is $10.00 per film . Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Ca. 91024 

Reservations for the play and films: (626) 355-4318. Online ticketing:



These are the songs featured in the show:


Act I

  • "Overture"
  • "Wall Street" - Mona
  • "It's You" - Dick and Ruby
  • "Broadway Baby" - Dick
  • "That Mister Of Mine" - Mona and Company
  • "Choo-Choo Honeymoon" - Joan and Lucky
  • "The Sailor of My Dreams" - Ruby
  • "Singapore Sue" - Lucky and Company
  • "Broadway Baby" (reprise) - Hennesey
  • "Good Times Are Here To Stay" - Mona, Joan and Company


Act II

  • "Dames At Sea" - Company
  • "The Beguine" - Mona and Captain
  • "Raining In My Heart" - Ruby and Company
  • "There's Something About You" - Dick and Ruby
  • "Raining In My Heart" (reprise) - Ruby
  • "The Echo Waltz" - Mona, Joan, Ruby and Company
  • "Star Tar" - Ruby and Company
  • "Let's Have A Simple Wedding" - Company


Footnote: In real life, Ruby Keeler married star Al Jolson who was the first actor to speak on screen as the talkies were born. I assisted Dorothy Hart with the Centennial celebration of her brother-in-law composer Lorenz Hart, and enjoyed dinners with Dorothy, Ruby Keeler and her son Al Jolson Jr., as Dorothy was doing research on a book she was writing about Ruby and her husband Al Jolson.  Ironically, we would pick her up at her home on “No Name,” street.


023SMPDamesAtSea_the Dames.jpeg86.76 KB


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.



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