Friday, September 23, 2011



~ By Absolutely*Kate   (backstage)

Feather boas and creamy poils, the fluff that dreams are made of, fancified life for us lucky Ziegfeld Goils. Well, there were swishy silks and satins too, but that all depended on what number was called up for you. I loved it when they called up my number! Backstage, Hank would holler with a fast rap-a-tat-tat on our dressing room door. Geeeez Louise, my dressing room was more like an open dame zone of star power -- makeup tables, elegant costume racks and divine bravada were all set up to outshine the other gals, but . . . I was there! I was a Ziegfeld Goil! Holy Hannah, how Mama was proud of that. She told her friends, she told our neighbors, she told the butcher, the baker and if we didn't have flicker-free electricity, I betcha she woulda yelped it at the candlestick maker too! 

It's been a year now of bein' one of these Follies' dollies. Golly! Me! Mabel Jean Krenicki! Can you imagine that? I'm livin' up my dream on stage all the show-stoppin' time now. I'm a tip-top tapper moved waaay up to the front line. Hoooo boy! And I kinda think my derriere twirl sashays as spiffy as the most senior of Ziegfeld Goils. Not that it gets me that much attention from Mr Z. Gosh he's every place and in everybody's bizness. I told him once, "Gosh Mr Z, you put the Z in bizzy," and he gets this real low booming chuckle and says back, "That's show bizzy to you Missy!" Imagine that -- me and Mr Z shootin' the breeze . . . even if it was momentary-like, and he gave me a stern look til I spit out my Juicy Fruit in my hand.  I just liked it. Me, Mabel Jean Krenicki, a Ziegfeld Goil!

Guess the gleam  never wears off the  glam once your pluck gets  starstruck. Shimmer glimmer and strut your stuff! Posture, placement and smile wattage to the back row, always, always play broad to the back row, Mr Z yelps! Keep style and grace all over the place. Ooze charm like there's no tomorrow to splash it out to. Bring it on! I eat show biz up instead of breakfast. Matter o'fact, I barely catch twenty winks back home at night after a late show before I'm barreling uptown for rehearsals with my new pals, the other hot hoofers. Uh, what just might have a little more than somethin' to do with puttin' extra hustle to my bustle could be the new choreographer Mr Z brung in from the Windy City. Wowzers! He's kinda cute. Hot cha cha cha stuff, and I ain't warblin' 'bout his dance moves, if ya know what I mean.

His name's Jerome. Isn't that romantic all by itself? Jerrrome. And jeepers, creepers, he's sweet on the peepers. Mmmmm, spins me dizzy sometimes. Not just whisperin' his name or a kinda feeling I get bubblin' up about him -- you should see how he configures us all on the staircase sequence moving fast, faster, catch the diamonds, twirl, spin in the lights super fast. I gotta pay attention there. A gal's gotta be careful with the perchof her gams there. You should see the spikes on my heels! 

The spike in my heart patters fast too. Faster than a speeding train of thought, came chance and circumstance to arrive at my station of romance. Well, that's what I was thinking. A certain Jerome glance, a touch at the small of my back -- Oooooooh, I'm standing pretty, right in the middle of layer upon layer of satin style and grace in ecru lace while falling fast. Then came the cha cha cha.

Jerome explained patiently that this dance had never ever been done on stage in the United States before. He knew of it from studying one summer in a faraway island called Cuba where his dark dashing eyes got even dreamier just talking about it while we all stood around on the show-battered wood. He convinced Mr Ziegfeld he could build a whole ensemble routine around it, right in the middle of the show where pace and a new kind of passion was the best place to go. Mr Z was all about letting in new kinds of pace and passion. How'd ya think a boy named Florenz got so far in the high faluting bigtime bright city shows he staged? Ya take chances! He did. Should I? That's when it happened -- to teach this dance, Jerome pulled me right outta the center cluster crowd I was dishin' with to show the other girls how -- all I can say is -- WOW!

He takes a checked step forward with his left foot, retains some of  his gorgeous weight -- did I mention Jerome's gorgeous? - on his right foot. The beat of the music is rhythm gone sensual with energy, energy urging movement on. It gets tricky as the knee of the right leg must stay straight and close to the back of the knee of the left leg, while just straightening out. But Jerome makes tricky look snazzy, and that's what he wanted and encouraged on from me. To show the other girls, or so I thought.

Three steps make up the basic cha cha cha. There's that first fast step to the side with the left foot. Then both feet get practically under your hips when the right foot closes in. Finally, in a flash, the last step of the left foot moves to the left. I was left panting at Jerome's pace, gazing often into Jerome's face. I saw there determination, raw open joy and something akin to the way presents are ripped opened on Christmas morning. Was I beginning to love Jerome or the way Jerome loved whatever Jerome was doing? How do you separate all those feelings while syncopating a new Latin beat and keeping straight all the moving of your feet?

When we switched to right-left-right, he smiled all those white beamy teeth and stage-whispered, "Brava muchacha - you can cha cha!" Heavens to Murgatroyd, we were stage left when that happened. My confidence level and my beaming stare went sky high into space and warmly, back close, at his gorgeous laughing face. I mentioned he was gorgeous, right?All this beaming and left-right-lefting and yet I was left aware of Miriam nudging Gertie, pointing something out to Doris over Ruby's glistening shoulders. Something at the door. Someone at the door.

Photo is star-tribute to stage/screen and

supremely talented hoofer/choreographer

Sylvia Lewis. Here she knocks the peepers
wide open in the front row with Dante DiPaolo. 

 Read more on 
Hollywood's hottest below 
"And now, now that our able Mabel has showed you how easy, one-two-three, it is to learn the steps of cha cha cha," Jerome intoned, "may I present a new star to shine among you? One I hope I have not made too jealous - for beginning with this sequence, my muy bonita wife Carmen will play lead." 


            Dear Diary,
These are some of the ups and downs and upside downs in every one-two-three step of being a poifect Ziegfeld Goil. I'm not too keen on Carmen and I don't give Jerome much more than the time of day except at rehearsals any more, but I love, love, love the stage, and the lights and the music and the grand, grand nights we make magic come true. Mr Z tells us all, that's the very best we can do.

I'll write again when I have something more substantial to share. Did I tell you about Ruby's brother Eddie and the malt shop? He doesn't need exotic music and fancy schmancy steps to dance his attention my way. Besides, I don't think this cha cha thing is gonna catch on in Palooka-ville for another twenty, say twenty-five years. It just takes too much outta ya. Tricky ain't always snazzy.

Yours Very Truly,
Mabel Jean Krenicki ~ Ziegfeld Goil!

PS ~ Momma's still proud. I never mentioned Jerome to her. 
I don't tell Momma everything, ya know?

© 2011 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
for Miss Mabel Jean Krenicki
another Debut . . .  AT THE BIJOU

Mabel Jean was right! 

 The Cha Cha Cha did not actually
stir sexy sensations in the States til the 1950's.
Hollywood's hottest hoofer ~ Sylvia Lewis, 
Cha Cha Boom, (find it!)knew much more
than how to go Right-Left-Right. Born when 
the Ziegfeld Follies were passing away, 
Sylvia started vibrant in Vaudeville and just
kept dancing! 
Sylvia's sensations dance splendid visions This author salutes the most lovely Ms Lewis and the dedicated webmaster, T.W. James. Quick! Click! Check starpower!

Mabel Jean will get there, don'tcha think?

                                         ~ I'm Absolutely*Kate 
                                    and I believe in believers

Thanks again Folks,
for sinkin' into our plush red velvet seats

AT THE            BIJOU

"Where Writers' Raves are Readers' Faves"

Hold on to your hats and feather boas!

There's more showbiz

 on Mabel Jean and the Ziegfeld Goils

right here in your glossy program:




Harry said...

Great to see more of Mabel Jean Krenicky! She falls for 'em quick but gets over 'em just as easy. Irrepressible and one of your best characters Katie*Girl!

Wendy said...

You know how to make a goil wanna be the goil, KatieMoxieMae!!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

How sweet it is SUGAR when you glam it up AT THE BIJOU! Takes a soitan kinda goil to hot cha cha, and I imagine you shimmy like you charm, chum. Moxie*thanks backatcha!

Well call me (or my characters) "irrepressible" hunky HARRY, and I get all soft & gooey inside and all hepped up hollerin' outside. The fired-up fluff that showbiz is made for, baby! And Mabel Jean blew ya a *smooch*.

~ Absolutely*Kate
and Mabel Jean Krenicki

Helen A. Howell said...

Loved the story Kate - Now she's learnt a valuable lesson about quick roads to fame, here's what I think she knows - just for fun and 'cause I know you'll like iit ^__^

Being a poifect Ziegfeld Goil.
takes more than it appears,
just shaking one's tosh and giving a smile
it what gets the fellas to cheer.

Still falling for the dancing guy
with good looks
and a twinkle in his eye.
Is some this Ziegfeld Goil won't do again,
'cause she now knows,
there's no short cut to fame.

Still her mama's proud of this her pearl
yes she's the poifect Ziegfeld Goil.

Helen A. Howell said...

oops Is some should read is something ^__^

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Lady HELEN? Florenz just sent a messenger with this proclamation: "Tell the Howell gal she passed the audition. Rehearsals begin at 8 am sharp."

How poifect ~ To know them, those zany Ziegfeld goils of zest, is to love them. To love them is to wish to understand them ... Sure hope you give me your autograph. You're headed to high realms.

What's that? Mabel Jean just stage whispered, "But can she DANCE?"

Helen A. Howell said...

Haha you just tell Mable Jean I use to be a ballet teacher, years ago, when I was younger and my feet felt the music, now my feet have retired along with the rest of me but I still dance inside ^__^

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Your blithe spirit will always dance inside lovely Helen.

Kevin Michaels said...

That Mabel Jean has some smooth moves (although not as quick as the ones Jerome laid on her.......). Glad Mabel Jean learned a valuable lesson about the white toothed romeos......

Good read!

Kate Pilarcik ~ absolutely said...

Comin' from a man who knows his way 'round the streets, our gal findin' her way 'round the Ziegfeld stages winks atcha mighty spunky, Mr Michaels. (She left ya a ticket for the Sunday matinee with Jimmy in the boxoffice too!)

KjM said...

Ouch, what a twist in that tale!

Gorgeous as ever, *Kate.

You were off and running with "Feather boas and creamy poils, the fluff that dreams are made of..." and I was there for the ride.

Can't dance to save my life - or the toes of my dance partner - but always appreciate a well-turned toe-tapping.

Thanks for the visit with a real Ziegfeld Goil. It was a blast.

Matthew S. Magda said...

What is so fascinating about Mabel Jean Krenicki is that she speaks to you with such authenticity. You immediately forget you are reading and simply are immersed in her voice. One time travels smoothly into that era of those goils and their "staged" lives. It is a remarkable recreation whose allure will always want us to hear more from Mabel Jean, whether she is cha cha chaing or just doing the Charleston. She's alive and we feel it. Bravo!