Midweek Madness: Thoughts of Mad Men and Miss Marmelstein
Like "Mad Men" fans everywhere, I've been chomping at the bit for the start of Season 5 on Sunday.
I also happened to notice that Thursday marks the 50th anniversary of a Broadway musical that, except for the specific occupation involved, and except for the time period, and, oh, yes, except for the ethnicity, is really a lot like "Mad Men."
OK, a little bit, but enough to justify my using it to generate this installment of Midweek Madness.
The musical, of course, is "I Can Get It For You Wholesale," which opened on Broadway March 22, 1962.
The plot revolves around a moral-less, ruthless guy trying to claw his way to the top of New York's garment industry. Naturally, he uses people, undercuts his colleagues and takes advantage of women. Sounds like Don Draper with a measuring tape to me.
And you just know that female employees in the garment industry ...
would have been subjected to a heap of sexism, just like on Madison Avenue.
As it turns out, one secretary depicted in the musical actually craves some sexism. She's Miss Marmelstein, portrayed 50 years ago by a woman still in her teens and destined to steal the show.
So here to sing about the humiliation of not having men in the office get fresh with her (almost sort of like Peggy Olson, before she got wise), is the one and only Barbra Streisand: