A hapless dancer and consummate sleuth survives meatless Tuesdays during World War II.
Although her gams aren’t as graceful as her roommate Jayne’s, Rosie Winter is accepted along with Jayne for the chorus of Walter Friday’s new production, Goin’ South. Many mishaps await between rehearsals and opening night. Paulette, one of the leading ladies, is murdered, and Al, a mobster gofer for Jayne’s sweetie Tony B., confesses and is jailed. Sets crash. And the stench of carnage arises from the theater basement, where the play’s backer, Vinnie “the Butcher” Garvaggio, comes and goes at odd hours. To prove their pal Al is innocent despite his confession, Rosie and Jayne investigate and are soon awash in Paulette’s dead husbands, fiancé and new boyfriend, as well as the amorous soldiers they fend off at the Stage Door Canteen. They must deal with jealous actresses also living at the Shaw House and black market meals in which horse substitutes for steer. Eventually the play opens and swiftly closes; Al gets out of jail; and the gals begin to look for new jobs and new boyfriends.
A breezy look back at the ’40s, complete with starlets in short skirts and mobsters smoking Cuban cigars. Rosie’s debut needs a better last act, but she deserves another crack at stardom.