Most of the cast are playing carnies, Charles Bolender shines as the Carney Boss Blake, a cigar chomping little person who runs the show. Bolender deploys great ways of evening the keel whenever he has to deal with other people often ending up higher and looking down on them.
You could catch Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong at the Blue Mirror, Nat King Cole, the Ink Spots and such now-forgotten entertainers as Lisa Alonzo and Her Tropicaires, who in 1950 introduced a new dance style to Washington: the mambo. "It's kind of South American bebop with lots of rhythmic ad libbing," wrote The Post's Georganne Williamson.
This was the heyday of a certain kind of Washington nightlife scene, when live music seemed to spill from every other door: jazz, Dixieland, bluegrass. . .
In the late 1950s, however, the tenor of the Blue Mirror changed, as it did for so many of the clubs along 14th Street: Casino Royal, the Merry-Land, Benny's Rebel Room. The management turned to burlesque. A 1961 Post story counted four strip houses and two belly dancer clubs in the neighborhood. The author noted the Blue Mirror's beginnings as a jazz club: "But jazz didn't pay so they turned to the money makers, the girls."
A Blue Mirror ad from the time touted seven featured dancers, including Renee de Milo."6'4" of Sex, Song and Satire.""
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