Wow. We thought Charlotte Greenwood was the queen of the high kick. (See our ‘Could You Forget That KICK?’ blog of Feb. 21.)
Little did we know.
Thanks to the magic of film we discovered Melissa Mason. She appears with Roger Wolfe Kahn and his orchestra in a 1932 short called The Yacht Party. And she kicks up a storm.
Higher, better and more limber than anyone else, EVER.
She was obviously a Broadway, vaudeville and nightclub headliner and made only a few films, usually as a specialty dancer. You might have more luck finding Radio City Revels. As you’ll note on the above poster for the film she received 10th billing.
She was known for her incredible ability to swing one leg through a full circle vertically. Yikes. You’ve got to see it. Check her out on YouTube.
Mason was born Melissa Ann Freethey in 1913, in Lawrence, Mass. She was tall, a bit gangly. But, boy, could she swing those gams around — perhaps not gracefully but with astoundingly double jointed prowess. Her routine has to be seen to be believed. Take a look.
Mason lived to a ripe old age (88), passing away in 2001. We like to think of her high-kicking to the end.