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Debbie Stewart

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About Debbie Stewart

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  1. 1) Robert Preston , in The Music Man, uses his persuasive baritone voice to back his arguments on the subject of gentlemanly persuits (billiards vs pool, horse and cart racing vs horse racing-at a track with gambling). He uses his beautiful, deep voice again in Victor/Victoria but uses more refined and persuasive facial expression subtly to convey his character's (and the majority of his audience in the nightclub scene's) sexual persuasion. He goes on to conquer his detractors with humor and sharp, fast, returns and quickly is able to out wit them in the escalation of physical violence (he has a way of moving away gracefully from the barroom brawl that begins to erupt). I think that shows his true skill. 2) Preston has such and expressive face. He uses a quick glance upwards, a slight movement of the hand, the handkerchief to express so much more of what is going on in the scene. He is able to be gracious, romantic, funny, charming and an agile foe all at once. 3) I can't recall any non musicals I have seen Robert Preston in.
  2. 1. They relate equally to each other pitching out ideas, dancing together (or mostly together), moving about the stage as a unit. No one stands out but all are working together. In earlier musicals either a single character or a pair of characters are featured and the others are in supporting roles. The individual is most important. 2. Each person is dressed uniquely but in grays, blues, and black. The shading is similar and reads as a unified palette. Nothing stands out from the rest. All the men are in a jacket and Nanette Fabray is in a simple skirt (I love the square pattern) and blouse. No one is dressed more formal than the others. 3. No one is left alone. Everyone has someone or everyone with them in the scene. Each person is visually tied to the other. Either by the building of the inverted pyramid or the 3 actors competing with each other in the trio dance (Levant leaves the stage for a moment but returns and comes back into the scene. )
  3. After watching the clips from Rose Marie, these are my impressions: Question #1: I noticed that in the canoe he sits above her as she lounges in the well of the canoe giving me the impression he is the strong, handsome, good love interest and her position lower as the demure love interest who hasn't figured out he is a "good catch". The separation also sets them up for a very proper way to be alone together and begin to fall in love. Their voices and facial expressions are how their romantic emotions seem to be expressed, keeping things proper. Question #2: I have to say I don't recall ever seeing either actor in other films. Question #3: I think the norms of the Hollywood film codes that are supported in this film, especially in the two clips shown were the separation of the two love interests either by props (the canoe seating arrangement previously discussed above in #1, the table in the saloon scene. I believe the code wanted to show relationships in a more puritanical light hence the singing (Jeanette MacDonald's character singing the saloon songs in her beautiful pure operatic voice vs the saloon singer who got up there and sang with much less vibrato and could give a little more shimmy and shake in her presentation. Also the costuming was a good contrast Jeanette MacDonald is sensibly dressed vs the saloon singer who has a shiny, tight dress that presents her as more brazen. Clearly the nice guy, Nelson Eddy favors the purer Jeanette MacDonald while the saloon crowd likes the girl in the shiny, shimmying saloon siren. I agree with Dr. Ament's comments above that this was a clear "choose this scenario" scene.
  4. I felt the clip was light ( unrealistic for Depression era times ) and the character of Anna Held was also purposefully light both in her acting, singing and dress so that she would be perhaps a light of hope for audiences. Certainly her carefree attitude about the note ( the possibility of a better contract ) was unrealistic but still engaging for an audience that wanted to escape their problems for a moment.
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