Tod and Buz are in Los Angeles working at CBS as stage hands. A dancer who Tod had a crush on during his Yale days has recently become widowed from an older star actor who was a hopeless ...
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Tod and Buz are in Los Angeles working at CBS as stage hands. A dancer who Tod had a crush on during his Yale days has recently become widowed from an older star actor who was a hopeless alcoholic. Now in her late 20's, she has not worked for almost ten years. Tod and Buz help and encourage her to make a life for herself. Written by
Walking into CBS, producer Benjamin is reading a script for fictitious variety program titled The Pete Martin Show; Pete Martin was a big-name showbiz writer of the era whose "I Call On. . ." celebrity profiles regularly appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. See more »
The title on the script Benjamin is reading is visible on cover page as he enters CBS Television City studio, then disappears (blank cover) as he walks past receptionist's desk, then reappears when he goes backstage. See more »
The boys are now in California, working as stage hands at the CBS studio there, (no road show this week: a cost savings measure?). There Todd encounters a dancer he had a crush on when he saw her form when he was back a Yale. She had a promising career then but fell in love with an even more promising actor and became his wife. He insisted there was only room for one star in the family so she gave up her career for him. And he needed someone to take care of him, for he was an alcoholic. When the episode begins he has died and we see his grave being dug while Todd narrates the story, (as he does in many of the episodes at this point of the series).
The show then becomes the story of the dancer's attempts at a comeback, urged on by Todd and, to a lesser extent, Buz, (who again tends to hang back before committing to a personal reclamation project). But the lady is laden with grief and lacks confidence in her abilities after being idle for years. She's also competing against younger, more energetic and supple performers. She gets a job in the chorus of a CBS show only because the producer remembers her. So does the star of the show, who knew the couple before he made it big and doesn't want anyone around who reminds him of when he wasn't a big shot.
The cancer comes back from her exhausting first day on the job feeling defeated and collapses on her bed. Todd and Buz try to gently challenge her not to surrender and she finally shows some energy, turning on them in anger, describing what it was like taking care of her drunken husband all these years. Somehow, that outburst frees her from her malaise and she comes to the studio the next day more determined and dances well, bringing back her confidence.
It's a nice story, (although the interesting conflict with the star remains unresolved). The dancer is played by Elizabeth Seal , who had originated the role of Irma La Douce on Broadway. The arrogant star is played by her then husband, Zack Matalon. I've read some of the other responses to this episode on this page and Elizabeth Seal's. She's described as an under-appreciated talent. I found her performance rather flat and unmemorable. I understand she's playing a mentally exhausted, grieving widow who has lost confidence in her abilities. She's not going to be very charismatic or charming in such a role. But she comes off more limp than sad. I hate to say it but I can see why she didn't make it big on the screen. Maybe you had to see her on stage for the magic to come out- and in a role that allowed her to shine more than this one. As it is, this failed to become a memorable episode largely due to the flat central performance.
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