I missed it this time around, but I've seen it before on TCM. Warner's really tried to make a splash with musicals around that time. usually with in-house stars like Doris Day and Virginia Mayo. Borrowing Jane Powell was a good move for them and, as you mentioned, for her as well. I like Gordon MacRae in these early musicals even better than in the later ones like Oklahoma! or Carousel. The younger MacRae had an endearing sort of doofus quality which was really charming, though I can see how it could read as borderline bland. I know what you mean about Gene Nelson; he was a triple threat (singing, dancing, acting) who could sometimes overshadow the bigger male stars. He usually got some kind of solo dance number which invariably stopped the show, sort of like Warner's version of MGM's Donald O'Connor.
Jane Powell was still going strong five years later when she did The Girl Most Likely, an underseen gem in which she was the only real musical star in the cast, so the focus was squarely on her. Really colorful and fun, with great Gower Champion choreography.
The Girl Most Likely is a good one. I haven't seen it in quite a while. I enjoyed Jane's interviews with Robert Osborne. She was gracious and relatable.