Cornelia Otis Skinner Monologues

Monday, March 28, 2011

Listen to some monologues by Cornelia Otis Skinner.

"Untitled Monologue"

Internal references suggest that this recording, made in 1951 before a live audience, may be Skinner’s sketch “Miss Bent Bows.”  In an emotional sweep reminiscent of Dorothy Parker and Damon Runyon, other masters of the first person narrative, Skinner’s classical music aficionado goes from aiming hilarious barbs at the clueless concert audience to deconstructing the end of her own love affair.

 

"Times Square at the Theatre Hour"

The actor and author Cornelia Otis Skinner was best known as an entertaining monologist who toured the country performing a series of character sketches.  In this WNYC studio recording from sometime in the late 1930s or early 1940s, she presents a zestful version of one of these pieces, “Times Square at the Theatre Hour.” In a dazzling display of vocal dexterity, Skinner creates the atmosphere of Times Square with multiple voices from upper-class English tourists, to working girls, drug addicts, and even an Italian vendor.

Audio courtesy of NYC Municipal Archives.

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