Broadway & Jacqueline Susann

Carole Landis In A Lady Says Yes
Carole on stage in A Lady Says Yes

 In 1945 Carole made her Broadway debut in a new musical called A Lady Says Yes. She moved to New York City and signed a one year lease on a furnished apartment located at 755 Park Avenue. Her former lover George Jessel had convinced her to do the show. The plot of A Lady Says Yes was about a Navy lieutenant who hallucinates during surgery and imagines himself back in 1500's Venice. Carole played a beautiful seductress named Ghisella. She got to sing several songs including "Without a Caress" and "Don't Wake Them Up Too Soon". In a letter she wrote "It's fun to be in a musical again. We have songs by Arthur Gershwin and I think they'll be very popular. The costumes are lovely." The cast included burlesque star Christine Ayres, Sue Ryan, Buddy Morris, and Jacqueline Susann. Katherine Kuhn designed Carole's gowns. A Lady Says Yes was previewed on December 9, 1944 in Philadelphia. The show had its Broadway premiere on January 10, 1945 at the Broadhurst theater. On opening night Carole got unexpected laughs when her zipper came undone exposing her bare back to the audience. She recalled "I was wearing a dress with a zipper down the back and nothing underneath, When I turned around the audience started snickering ... the zipper had slipped down and half of me was exposed."

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Carole Landis Jacqueline Susann Christine Ayres
    Jacqueline Susann, Carole, and Christine Ayres

 Unfortunately most of the reviews for the A Lady Says Yes were negative. One critic said "the new musical is at best second-rate". Carole's performance got some praise but most of the critics focused on her appearance. Walter Winchell said "The only good lines in it are those Mother Nature gave Carole Landis". A Lady Says Yes was not a hit and it closed in March after only eighty-seven performances. Singer Richard Hayes who appeared in the chorus said  "Carole's beauty, wit, and talent kept the poorly constructed show moving as long as it did. She was one of the nicest, most generous persons I have ever known." Carole kept some of the dresses from the show and she later wore one in Brass Monkey. While appearing in A Lady Says Yes Carole began a romantic relationship with her female costar Jacqueline Susann. Both of them had previously dated George Jessell. After their affair ended she and Jacqueline remained close friends. In 1966 Jacqueline wrote the best-selling novel Valley Of The Dolls. The character of Jennifer North, a voluptuous actress who commits suicide, was based loosely on Carole.

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Lovely Me: The Life of Jacqueline Susann by Barbara Seaman includes information about Carole's romance with Jacqueline