Who will get the last boop?

2018 Quarterfinalist

In 1928, 14-year-old "Baby Esther" Jones was taking the jazz world by storm with her style of "baby scat."  During a performance at The Everglades Club in New York City, struggling vaudeville comedian and singer, Helen Kane, witnessed Baby Esther's  singing style and was thrilled and amazed. The she stole it, making that style her own.

She was cast in Oscar Hammerstein's play, Big Boy, and using Baby Esther's style, sang the song "I Want To Be Loved By You"making it an instant hit and sending her into stardom. And as a result, Baby Esther's career died. 

Escaping her manager, who had been molesting her since she was six, she met Josephine Baker's manager/lover and fled to Paris. There she thrived performing before Spanish, British and Swedish Royalty and embarking on a tour of South America. But her anger about Helen Kane's theft bothered her to no end.

In the US, Helen Kane went on to star in four movies, making her a B-lister in Hollywood. But her spending style was that of an A-lister.  All was going well until Max Fleischer Studios created the sultry, vulnerable teen vamp, Betty Boop, which took America by storm. Soon, Helen was struggling to get gigs and was shut out of films.

In London after singing in trashy vaudeville halls, Helen attended a performance of Baby Esther attended by future king, Prince Edward.  She went backstage to congratulate Baby Esther full of snark and bravado. But Esther wasn't having it and a cat fight to rival Alexis and Dominique in Dynasty ensued. 

Helen Kane, filing bankruptcy and her career in a tailspin, sued Max Fleischer Studios for copying her "unique" caricature

 

Esther's former manager,  Lou Bolton, contacted Baby Esther after her grand performance in Stockholm where jazz and opera collided with an epic performance.  After much cajoling, Esther agreed to come to America with her new fiance, Henri, to testify at the trial. But after a series of performances in Berlin, Esther and Henri disappeared.

Desperate to defend Esther's legacy, Lou located a series of test films of Baby Esther singing her signature Boop-boop-a-doop.  And the results of the trial are startling. 

Boop vs. Boop is inspired by real persons

and actual events. 

WGA 1956318

© 2012-2019  T Gordon Stanley