|Pearl, the Observation Car.
Pearl's the brand new girl on the tracks. She's bubbly, shiny, and exquisitely pretty. Pearl is usually portrayed in one of two ways - either she's very young and sweet, very blonde and ditzy, and she completely fails to realise the conseqiuences of her actions, or she is a soul-searching diva, who thinks hard about her actions, yet chooses to dump Rusty, steal Dinah's boyfriend, and basically hurt everyone she cares for. The former seems younger than the latter. Personally I prefer the interpretation of her being young and foolish, but not intentionally cruel.
Her costume has gone through significant changes since the early 1984 design! In those days, the height of fashion was neon colours on black, so Pearl's first design now seems very dated. Very quickly, tho, she became pale pearly pink with a "tutu" net skirt. All the costumes were re-designed for the Broadway production in 1987, and Pearl became the familiar "OBSERVATION" costume. The "PM" on her skirt apparently stands for "Pullman"... except Pullman is a single word and therefore only has a single initial. Other interpretations include "Prawn Moose" (which is quite an insult!) or "Pearl McCoy". This last makes a lot of sense, if Pearl is Poppa's daughter (no, Poppa is not automatically Rusty's father, everyone calls him Poppa!) it explains why he encourages decent Rusty to beat the very unsuitable potential boyfriends in Greaseball and Electra!
|The london Pearl costume became the "OBSERVATION" design in 1992 when Reva Rice came from the US tour to london, bringing her broadway-design costume with her. Each subsequent year in london brought a slightly different design to the costume, until in 1999 when they removed the panel covering her cleavage, resulting in a school-girl influenced costume, her pleated skirt and square neckline being reminiscent of an old-fashioned school gymslip. When Starlight went to Las Vegas in 1993, the coaches' costumes were re-designed to be more in keeping with the "Vegas showgirl" ethic. ie. expose as much flesh as possible. Sweet, innocent ditzy Pearl left, and slut-Pearl replaced her. She has a monogram of "PRR" on her belt, replacing the "PM" on the skirt. Theory is this stands of "Pearl rail road". This costume design has been re-used on the second US tour and now the UK tour. Fortunately the Bochum costume designs have hardly changed since 1988, apart from some magnificent long, pink Pearl wigs.|
Pearl in the News
|New Zealand Tour|
|Belle's Pearl costumes|