Ginger's first Broadway musical, Top Speed, featured her in the ingénue role. The show opened Christmas Day 1929 and ran for less than 20 weeks, but Ginger was hailed as a promising up-and-comer. Walter Winchell said she was ". as poised as a veteran," and Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times noted, ". an impudent young thing, Ginger Rogers carried youth and humor to the point where they are completely charming."
While Ginger was performing eight shows a week in Top Speed, she was also making films for Paramount at their studio in Astoria, Long Island. Her first film, Young Man of Manhattan, starred Claudette Colbert and featured Ginger as a 16-year-old flapper. Her line "Cigarette me, big boy," became a classic phrase in the American vocabulary.
Ginger's first starring role on Broadway was in George and Ira Gershwin's Girl Crazy. Her two hit songs from that show, Embraceable You and But Not For Me, have since become musical standards.