January 16, 2015

All Dolled Up for Bugsy Malone

Anneliese here with your next installment of Past Projects - today, it's a trip back to the Roaring Twenties with some costumes from Bugsy Malone.  As I mentioned before, on my search for some more theater experience during junior year, I came upon the fabulous costume team at Stages, the children's theater at the Auditorium Theater of Rochester.  The first show I student costumed for (and earned my keep) there was Bugsy Malone, directed by Holly Hessel in 2013.

Described in Kids Out and About as a "slapstick musical comedy," the fast-action show, Bugsy Malone, "follows the rivalry between two half-witted street gangs" under the leadership of Fat Sam or Dandy Dan.  The two gangs of "1920s cartoon cutouts" go head-to-head with each other, shooting their "splurge guns" (silly string) and throwing custard pies in this "film noir spoof."  All in all, we had a lot of fun and still found silly string remains months after the curtains closed.

(Image via: facebook)

During the musical, however, I was responsible for anything from repairs and alterations, to making dresses and headpieces, and to assisting during fast changes.  My first task was to construct a polka-dot ruffle dress with a matching hat for promo shots, which became Blousy Brown's signature and main outfit. (Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the outfit on the actress, so these shots are from a year later...please excuse the wrinkles.)

Next, I was tasked with creating flapper-style headbands for the grand slam girls.  Following the style and silver & black color scheme of the original headband they gave me,  I made five more child-size headpieces.  Eventually, beads were also added to mimic the original. 

The original headband.

Along with various alterations, hemming & taking in, I dressed up the Lena "came home" dress.  I also made her a matching orange bead hat, which was not used for the show (it has, however, been on the stage a couple of times since :)

This teeny-tiny actress was adorable!

After discovering my love of hat embellishing, I moved on to make a fancy black hat for Dandy Dan's girlfriend:

Finally, I made the ostentatious opera singer's headpiece.  My only directions were to "make it obnoxious," and, for the record, it was the director's favorite piece :)

The curtain has indeed fallen on Bugsy Malone!  The set was striked, the costumes put away (or traveling to other shows), but the memories will never be forgotten.  It is always ahead and onto to another show...next up at Stages: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  Thanks for reading!

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