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ON THE TOWN --- FANCY FREE


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I did some searching on line recently and found out something remarkable about one of my favorite musicals. "On The Town" (1949) is based on a ballet entitled "Fancy Free". Leonard Bernstein composed the music for the New York Ballet Comany. Jerome Robbins choreographed the ballet. It opened April 18, 1944 and tells the story of three sailors on leave in New York City. In the ballet, the sailors meet and falls in love with three girls. Maybe all is in small print, somewhere in the film credits but I never saw it. Some of Bernsteins score is heard in the movie "On The Town". I've caught Bernsteins name in the credits.

 

Anyway the ballet number, "A Day In New York" really makes sense to me now. That segment with Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen literally pays tribute to the ballet that gave birth to the Broadway play and eventually the great musical film.

 

I've always loved "On The Town" ... now I love it even more!

 

Cheers!

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The ballet company, where I am from, performed "Fancy Free" here just last month. I was planning on seeing but, unfortunately, money was tight. Too bad, really, because I really wanted to compare and contrast "On the Town" with "Fancy Free".

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Recently on PBS they had in their American Masters series a doc about Jerome Robbins and for the first time in my life I was able to see video of his original choreography of Fun and Fancy Free. So brilliant! They mainly had footage of when he restaged it with Baryshnikov, but they also had some old footage of the original from WWII with him as one of the guys. I recommend everyone watch it--so great.

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