Melba LaRose first met Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling during a production of Glamour, Glory, and Gold, a ridiculous send‑up of Hollywood melodramas. She played the lead role as Nola Noon, an amalgam of old movie stars like Jean Harlow and Joan Crawford. The play—Curtis’s first—began with Noon working in a burlesque house, followed her rise as a big Hollywood star, and ended with LaRose’s character mock-tragically walking into the ocean as the Warsaw Concerto played. Glamour, Glory, and Gold was directed by Ron Link, who went on to direct many Off-Off-Broadway shows, including Tom Eyen’s Women Behind Bars. During the opening scene of this explosive production, LaRose walked onstage wearing nine feather boas and started throwing glitter. “It was everywhere,” she said. “The set was covered with sparkles and glitter.” Oddly enough, the show’s title came directly from Lady Bird Johnson (President Lyndon Johnson’s wife) when she crossed paths with an extravagantly dressed Jackie Curtis, who was lurking in the lobby of the Lincoln Center. As Johnson came down a set of stairs, she saw Curtis and exclaimed in her regal southern accent, “Oh my. Glamour, glory, and gold.” Jackie thought, Ding! Yes. That’s gonna be the title of my play.
From Chapter 17 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore