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Everything posted by Lanin

  1. Still waiting for mine. I double checked my profile info just to make sure.
  2. My wife and I actually purchased the movie on Amazon, and got $4 worth of the $8 we spent. By the time summer had rolled around in the film, we had decided we didn't really care what happened to the two of them, and that we'd heard enough of the music and seen enough of the dancing to know that the second half wasn't going to be any different. We seldom leave movies unfinished - we even sit through the credits in the cinema, much the annoyance of anyone who goes with us. But this was a stock romcom so predictably boilerplate that we just didn't see the point of finishing it.
  3. Well, having seen it, at least no one can use the "you just have to see it" argument. I'm sorry you didn't like it, but that's how taste works. For my part, one thing I like about the show (and I'll admit it gets kind of tedious - you can imagine how our Founding Fathers felt having to actually live through it!) is that it's not a "70's show'. It's a product of that decade, but the writers tried to capture the music style of the period. Even "Mama Look Sharp", the song the young soldier sings, follows the pattern of folk songs of the day.
  4. Isn't The Producers a groundbreaking film? The first movie musical based on a stage musical based on a movie?
  5. The restored version of Metropolis is one of my favorite films. I've seen it so often I can read most of the German dialogue on the actors' lips. A Mad Science course? I'd be all over that like butter on a duck!
  6. Do we need these stinkin' badges? I mean to say, what does one actually do with them? I'm not really familiar with this particular online phenomenon.
  7. It does say something about it not being available until next week.
  8. Noticed a "whoops" in the quiz, in question #8. Professor HENRY Hill? You got trouble, my friend.
  9. It's similar to "Transsexual Transvestite from Transylvania".
  10. There was a made-for-TV version of Bye Bye Birdie in 1995 that adheres much more to the original stage production. My beef with the Ann Margaret version is that it stops midway through the story, ending at the close of Act 1 when Hugo decks Birdie. The '95 version stars Jason Alexander and Vanessa Williams, and they do the whole show. Oh, and Jason Alexander does a wonderful job selling a dance.
  11. Richard Rodgers went on to use some of those themes in subsequent Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, such as "Me and Juliet".
  12. I knew Robert Preston's voice long before I ever saw him act. As a kid, I would borrow Broadway cast LPs from the library and play them over and over. But The Music Man album was on my mother actually owned (along with South Pacific), so I listened to that one a lot. His slightly gravelly baritone had a power to it that could captivate you. As I say, it wasn't until later that I got to see the film version of Music Man, and Victor/Victoria wasn't that long after. A commonality I notice is his underplay. He's not a "wide" performer, rather, he keeps his focus and his gestures tight and precise. When he spreads his arms or points in the "Trouble" number, it's controlled, and his movements with the handkerchief in "Gay Paree" are specific and subtle. Oddly enough, one other performance I know from Robert Preston is strictly audio, the "Chicken Fat Song" he made for the Youth Fitness Program during the Kennedy administration, and which was sent out to public schools all over the country. SIDE EDIT: The kid's show "My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic" created a pair of characters, the Flim Flam Brothers, and gave them a song very similar to Robert Preston's "Trouble" number from Music Man. Not long after, the comic version of the show involved the brothers with a Shirley Jones inspired character, a librarian named Marian.
  13. #1 The setting is backstage, similar to what we used to see in the early 30's musicals. But this isn't a success story of the 42nd Street variety. This is a story of failure after failure. This is what entertainers in the rest of the country were doing while Ruby Keeler was saving the show and Flo Ziegfeld was Glorifying the American Girl. This was seedy hotels you couldn't afford, splitting eggrolls, constant reinvention to try to finally find the one hook that would win you an audience. And the irony, which we see from the outset, is that Baby June's got the chops. She's good onstage, she dances well, she projects energy. But Mama Rose is in charge, and neither June nor Louise are free to develop their own presence. #2 Both Ethel Merman and Rosalind Russell had unmistakable power onstage. But while Merman boomed, Russell machine-gunned. Russell's power was a juggernaut, of the kind we saw in her screwball comedies like "His Girl Friday" and musicals like "Wonderful Town". She enters moving forward, and never stops. Her eyes are constantly moving, her mind jumping from one detail to another. And to see the result, don't look at the manager or Uncle Jocko. Look at the band. They're loving it. They don't drag their feet, they don't roll their eyes. Rose tells them to jump, and they ask to what octave. Suddenly they've got someone who knows what she wants. And to top off the scene, you have her exit, hat pin in hand, literally chasing the poor Balloon Girl off to who knows where. That's Mama Rose - follow in her wake and you'll have the time of your life; cross her and you'll lose an arm.
  14. This might not count for some people, but I have to say Rankin-Bass' "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".
  15. It's an egot booster, I'll give you that. No complaints here about Rita Moreno. She went from there to shouting "HEY YOU GUUUUUYS" on The Electric Company. That's dedication. She and Morgan Freeman are tops in my book (Freeman did all sorts of silly characters in that PBS show).
  16. The show also starred David Soul, who went on to make Starsky & Hutch along with Paul Michael Glaser, Perchik in "Fiddler on the Roof".
  17. As another musical put it, "Marry the man today, and change his ways tomorrow."
  18. The story seems sexist because it's about sexism. It's about seven men who don't know what women are for, or truly, what women are. But it's also about education. In the end, the brothers do learn to appreciate the women, and the women are rewarded for their troubles, with husbands who will appreciate them far more than any of the men in town would have had they married them.
  19. Remember the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon, when Calvin's dad convinces him that the world was in black and white up until shortly after WWII?
  20. Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald made a number of films together, but Rose-Marie was pretty much their signature film. The visual of Eddy in his mountie uniform was so iconic that the film itself inspired a musical, "Little Mary Sunshine", in which the mounties are replaced by Forest Rangers. Rose-Marie also falls under the general category of "Northerns", movies that deal with the northwest territories of Canada and Alaska, and which frequently feature mounties as main characters.
  21. We did Guys and Dolls in my junior year of HS, and though I was cast as Nicely Nicely, my voice had already dropped below being able to sing a Stubby Kaye part. I barely made it. Then the following year, we were to do Li'l Abner, and our drama teacher wanted me to do Marryin' Sam, another Stubby Kaye part. I went on strike. Refused to try out at all. Eventually we compromised, and I played General Bullmoose.
  22. The lecture notes refer to the "Siberia" number in Silk Stockings, and how it makes light of conditions in the Soviet Union. An even more indicative scene is the "Red Blues" number, which ostensibly takes place back in Mother Russia. It's interesting to contrast this scene with the recent Russian series "The Red Queen", in which the main character is actually tried and expelled from her school by her fellow students, for the "crime" of dancing to decadent Western music. EDIT: I was mistaken. Having checked the episode in question, she was expelled from the Komsomol, not the school.
  23. It always causes some confusion when folks mention Joseph McCarthy and the HUAC hearings in the same article. It's even more confusing since the entire period of the late 40's and early 50's is labeled "The McCarthy Era", as though the Senator presided over the whole thing. In fact, Senator McCarthy had nothing to do with the House's investigations into Hollywood, or the subsequent blacklisting. His Senate hearings into the government (which were contemporarily referred to as the Army-McCarthy hearings) began in 1950, at least three years after the House held their hearings into the film industry, and more than a decade after the House Committee on Unamerican Activities was first formed. McCarthy sticks in the public awareness because he put a face on the time period. Of course, history is full of catchphrases, and "The HUAC Era" doesn't quite roll off the tongue as smoothly as "The McCarthy Era".
  24. Lanin


    I'd be fascinated to watch the first version of the show. Does it still exist?

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