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The last date listed for The It Girl was Sunday August 9, 2009 / 2:00pm.
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Based on the 1927 silent movie, It, by Paramount Motion Pictures, starring Clara Bow, the musical retells the story about a sassy department store salesclerk who wins an advertising contest held to find the girl with the elusive, thrilling quality known as “it”. In this homage to the period’s innocence, a poor but adorable shopgirl falls for the dashing head of a department store. Madcap merriment ensues as she captures his heart.
The It Girl is the third show of the Coronado Playhouse’s 2009 season. The creative team consists of Thomas Fitzpatrick, director, Rick Shaffer, musical director and Alisa Williams, choreographer. Producers Katy Skyrud and Barron Henzel will assemble the production team. The book is by Michael Small and BT McNicholl, with music by Paul McKibbins and lyrics by BT McNicholl.
The cast features Shauna Riisoe, Thomas Doyle, Meredith Russo, Aaron Bonnell and Stephanie Hester with Manny Bejarano, Amanda Everett, Veronica Lee, Dante Macatantan, Alex Matsuo, and Loraine Odierno.
Clara Bow was perhaps one of the first silver screen sex sirens. She was the number one film star for nearly a decade. As the quintessential flapper, she defined the 1920s. Her hairstyle, her clothes and cupid-bow mouth, all represented the ideal of Hollywood in the Jazz Age.
Born in 1905 in the slums of Brooklyn to abusive parents, Clara rose above her impoverished background to become an icon of the silver screen. In an effort to escape her daily life, Clara focused all her attention on the new world of the movies. In 1921, at the age of sixteen, she entered Motion Picture Magazine’s Fame and Fortune contest. She won the prize and a part in the 1922 motion picture, Beyond the Rainbow.
Despite her performance later being cut, Clara went on to another picture called Down to the Sea in Ships. Clara was unbilled in her next two 1923 features Enemies of Women, and The Daring Years. Soon after she auditioned for Preferred Pictures for a three-month contract at $50 a week. As a contract player for Preferred Pictures, she made 25 film features within two years
In 1927, Bow reached the heights of her popularity with the film It, based on a short novel by Elinor Glyn. In the novel, Glyn described “it” as “…that strange magnetism which attracts both sexes. ‘It’ is a purely virile quality, belonging to a strong character. (The possessor of It) must be entirely unself-conscious and full of self-confidence, indifferent to the effect he or she is producing, and uninfluenced by others. There must be physical attraction, but beauty is unnecessary. Conceit or self-consciousness destroys ‘it’ immediately.” “It” was taken to mean sex appeal. The success of _It _made Clara Bow one of the top five box office draws and she became famous as the “It” girl.
In 1927, Clara also made Wings, a war picture largely re-written to accommodate her. Clara at the time was Paramount’s biggest star. The film went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Picture. Bow’s career continued into the early sound film era.
While living the life of a movie star in the Roaring ‘20s, she became the victim of numerous scandals. She fell from grace with the public (that named her America’s favorite actress in a 1928 poll) and retired in 1933 at age 28 to raise her children with her husband, cowboy actor Rex Bell. She passed away in her modest Los Angeles home on September 27, 1965, while watching a Gary Cooper movie.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Clara Bow has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1994, she was honored with her image on a United States postage stamp.
The term “it girl” is still used in Hollywood today to describe the up-and-coming actress of the year.