Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blair Ross on being Dr. Think Pink

My name is Blair Ross and I play Dr. Think Pink in “Being Audrey”. Dr. Think Pink is based on Kay Thompson, who delivered such a delectable turn as fashion editor Maggie Prescott in the film “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire. In olden times I auditioned for the role of Smitty in “How To Succeed” and the musical director, Ted Sperling, told me I should play Kay Thompson. Though I admired her, Kay was between 45 and 55 when she filmed “Funny Face” (enigmatically, she never divulged her real birth date) and I was a just-past-dewy 27. I didn’t get the part, but I did get the hint. This is the second time I’ve gotten to play Kay and with each project I see more clearly her effortless genius and my own limitations. Nonetheless, to be compared to Kay is a rare and great compliment and one that grows more treasured as I read about her life and her astounding musical and literary legacy.

Arranger, designer, recording artist, vocal coach (to everyone from Judy Garland to Prince Albert of Monaco. I kid you not.), wag, champion diver, author (the Eloise books), imp, virtuoso pianist, Kay Thompson was compulsively artistic and ahead of her time. She left such a small celluloid imprint precisely because she didn’t care to give us more. Her easy mastery of all things she put her perfectly manicured hands to kept her in constant motion to challenge herself in new arenas. It’s been a treat for me to portray a lady of such confidence and imagination, and the “Funny Face” sequence in “Being Audrey” was a delight to stage as Jack Cummings, Scott Rink, Ellen Weiss and Jim Hindman are as devoted to Kay’s singular Bazzazz as I am. If even one audience member muses to themselves after seeing our show, “What was the story with Kay Thompson?” I’d be well satisfied. Kay used to say to her friends, as a way of signing off, “See you in the movies.” Well, happily for all of us, we can see her in one particularly enchanting movie and for that we thank her very much indeed.

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