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As the play opens, Whitelaw Savory, at his Foundation of Modern Art, has been stubbornly carrying on for nine years his crusade to bring True Art to the ignorant masses. His latest acquisition, a three-thousand-year-old statue of the goddess Venus imported from Anatolia, was made not on aesthetic principle but for personal reasons. A barber named Rodney Hatch decides while waiting to shave Savory to try something funny with his engagement ring and finds out to his surprise that this Venus is more than a statue.
It was made into a 1948 movie starring Ava Gardner, which retained few of the show's songs and even less of its dialogue. That movie, in turn, was remade in the 1980's as the Kim Cattrall vehicle Mannequin.
Tropes used in the show:
- Angry Mob Song: "Catch Hatch"
- Catch the Conscience
- Dark Reprise: Rodney's embittered reprise of "How Much I Love You"
- Deus Ex Scuse Me
- Disposable Fiancée: Gloria Kramer
- Dream Ballet: "Venus in Ozone Heights"
- Leitmotif: Venus's theme
- Living Statue
- Love Goddess
- Magical Girlfriend
- Murder Ballad: "Dr. Crippen"
- The One That Got Away
- Please Put Some Clothes On
- Sassy Secretary: Molly Grant
- Slip Into Something More Comfortable