Baby Rose Marie was a child show business prodigy. Fortunately, now at the age of 94, she can look back on how she graduated from child star to just being Rose Marie and carving out an adult career in radio, film and television. She also has the sassy demeanor to convince you that she is telling it like it was—and is—as the narrator in “Wait for Your Laugh,” a show biz exploration directed by Jason Wise.
Rose Marie’s story is bolstered by available clips and reenactments to cover the territory. The lady is lauded by such notables as Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke. She played a comedy writer on the Dick Van Dyke show, and he speaks fondly of her.
With unabashed candor, Rose Marie recalls the days when, performing in Chicago, she was adopted as a favorite by mob figures, such as the infamous Al Capone. She has nothing but kind words to say for the way they treated her.
The film becomes a tour of show business through her lifetime—after all, she started at the age of three. That took her through the period of vaudeville, the growth of Hollywood, the popularity of radio, and advent of television. Rose Marie’s memory seems sharp and she is ever the performer as she makes her recollections and comments refreshingly entertaining.
Director Wise mixes the ingredients skillfully. I would like to see more clips of some of what the star did early on, but, of course, Wise had to work with what could be unearthed. Reviewed November 3, 2017.
(Note: Rose Marie died on December 28, 2017.)