Ginger Rogers danced her way into the hearts of millions-and into the arms of Fred Astaire-in some of filmdom's best-loved musicals. Beginning July 27, Cumberland County Playhouse gives you the chance to see Ginger's awe-inspiring story brought to life in Backwards in High Heels, a new musical set to some of the 20th century's best-known music.
Featuring the spectacular dance moves that made Ginger Rogers one of Hollywood's biggest stars, Backwards in High Heels is directed and choreographed by Broadway veteran Jeremy Benton, and stars Jessica Wockenfuss as Ginger Rogers and recent Belmont University Musical Theatre graduate Douglas Waterbury-Tieman as Fred Astaire.
Backwards in High Heels is the story of a small-town girl who dazzled the world, and it features show-stopping dance numbers, unforgettable songs, and some surprising revelations about a Hollywood film legend. Rogers' career began when she won a Charleston contest at the age of 15, and she made her Broadway debut at 18. Soon thereafter, she was discovered by Paramount Pictures and she began her meteoric rise to movie stardom that culminated in her winning an Academy Award.
Along the way, she had tempestuous relationships with producers, co-stars, her many husbands-and a complicated, defining relationship with her mother, Lela, played at CCP by Playhouse favorite Weslie Webster.
In addition to Wockenfuss, Waterbury-Tieman and Webster, the lavish new musical also features Carly Amburn, Daniel W. Black, Colin Cahill, John Dobbratz, Britt Hancock, Lindy Pendzick, Austin Price and Jason Ross.
Ginger was a trail blazer: She was among the first of Hollywood's leading ladies to demand fair pay and to exert control over her work to a previously unprecedented level," says Christopher McGovern, co-creator of Backwards in High Heels.
McGovern contends that the core of Ginger's story was her complex relationship with her mother, and the universality of her story makes Backwards in High Heels "relevant to all generations of children, parents and lovers of theatre and the movies."
Backwards in High Heels was conceived and developed by Lynnette Barkley and Christopher McGovern. Book/Musical Arrangements/Original Songs are by Christopher McGovern with music by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Jerome Kern.
Backwards in High Heels will play on the Mainstage from July 27 through November 2. Tickets and further information are available at www.ccplayhouse.com or by calling (931) 484-5000.
Pictured: Jessica Wockenfuss