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Musicals on Tap

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Yes, that's the one.  She actually did have a big number in the finale called "Your Broadway and My Broadway," but, for whatever reason, a decision was made to cut it before the picture was released.  No footage remains from it, just stills, but there is a soundtrack recording and it's quite impressive.

 

Now it's your turn, Princess.

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The Get Happy number that Judy performed in Summer Stock is reminiscent of --that is similar to -- another number in terms of the costume and the style of dance. The number I'm talking about was actually filmed, but it was cut from the final footage of one of her movies.

 

We need the name of the film, the number, and the composer.

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Star, I think we should form the Judy Garland fan club right now. All things Judy - -

 

Now we're going to go beyond the young Judy to the little girl Judy.

 

Just like me and millions of other little girls, Judy Garland went to dance school and learned to tap dance. She was so good that she went on with other members of the school into Hollywood shorts. Can you name the school and the short that first presented Judy to the world.

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Princess,

 

I believe the short was "Every Sunday" with Deanna Durbin and I'm not sure about the exact name of the school but I believe it was a school at Metro. Is any part of this correct?

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Princess and Marsha, Judy and her sisters were with the Meglin Kiddies, a theatrical school for children.  She made her film debut at the age of 7, along with other "kiddies," in the short The Big Revue, released in 1929.  

 

A few years later, Shirley Temple would also take classes at the Meglin Kiddies school. 

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Star, I never had any doubt that you knew all about the Meglin Kiddies. I've only seen the shorts a couple of times, but they are so gorgeous, so cute. She always had it.

 

Star, come and give us another one - -

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Okay, Princess, if you insist.  

 

As probably everyone here knows, Judy Garland's real name was Frances Gumm.  However, before she became Judy Garland, she very briefly took another stage name.  What was it?

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I don't really have any hints, so I'll just give you all the answer and the thread can be open to anyone who wants it.

 

In July of 1931, while appearing in a juvenile extravaganza called Stars of Tomorrow with her two sisters, 9 year old Frances Gumm impressed an agent who signed her to a 5 year contract with the firm of Frank and Dunlap.  They did not like her name and changed it to Frances Gayne.  After one appearance at the Valley Theater, which was her father's theater in Lancaster, California, she reverted back to her original name and Frank and Dunlap seem to have lost interest and disappeared from her life.

 

 

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We might as well finish what we started. How did Frances Gumm become Judy Garland? Like where did the name come from, when did that happen and where did it happen?

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Happy to oblige, Princess.

 

It was George Jessel who came up with name Garland, a name he appropriated from New York World Telegram drama critic Robert Garland.  It was August 17, 1934, and what happened was that the Gumm Sisters very hurriedly replaced an act that had been fired at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.  Jessel was headlining the show and when he introduced the Gumm Sisters, who were second on the bill, the audience broke up and most likely expected to see a comedy act.  They weren’t funny, but they stopped the show cold.  When they came off, Jessel, who was very impressed with them and with Frances in particular, told them they had to change their name and to leave it to him.  Between shows he got a call from Robert Garland and, when he went on for the next show, he introduced the Gumms as the Garland Sisters.  This time it didn’t get a laugh and they decided to keep the name.

 

Frances herself changed her name to “Judy” almost a year later during an engagement at the Cal-Neva Lodge at Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  She took the name from the title of a new Hoagy Carmichael song because she thought it sounded “peppy,” and she wanted to get away from being called “Baby,” which is what everyone called her.  Once she changed her name, she refused to answer to anything but “Judy.”  And so, at the age of 13, Frances Gumm became Judy Garland.  

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Star, I knew I could count on you for the exact answer. Well done.

 

Personal note: when I was studying dancing in Chicago, I had a ballet class in the Loop. I could stand at the barre and look down on the Oriental Theater. At this time, it had become a sleazy movie house for Bruce Lee movies.

 

Today, I'm happy to say that it's been restored and is a Performing Arts Center. And in 2003 they had the world premiere there of Sing-Along Wizard of Oz.

 

I think Judy would have liked that, don't you?

 

Star, now it all depends on you - -

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Star, I knew I could count on you for the exact answer. Well done.

 

Personal note: when I was studying dancing in Chicago, I had a ballet class in the Loop. I could stand at the barre and look down on the Oriental Theater. At this time, it had become a sleazy movie house for Bruce Lee movies.

 

Today, I'm happy to say that it's been restored and is a Performing Arts Center. And in 2003 they had the world premiere there of Sing-Along Wizard of Oz.

 

I think Judy would have liked that, don't you?

 

Star, now it all depends on you - -

Yes, Princess, I think she would have liked that.  

 

Knowing that Judy had appeared at the Oriental Theatre in 1934 and that it was a significant appearance, I was thrilled to catch a glimpse of it on a couple of occasions as I was being driven to the airport to catch a return flight after visiting a friend of mine who lives in Illinois.

 

I think I've used up enough air time on this thread for awhile, so --

 

Open thread.

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Fred Astaire was a gentleman. He never would say which dance co-star was his favorite partner. But, on the other hand, he was sometimes very vocal, while shooting, in his display of frustration or anger if he felt that his female co-star couldn't dance well or really couldn't dance at all, in his opinion.

 

You can name as many as you like, but it would be nice if we had at least two.

 

Please give the name of the actresses and the films they appeared in with Astaire.

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I'll guess the following ladies may have frustrated Mr. Astaire while rehearsing a dance number especially since he was such a masterful dancer in every sense of the word -- the master of dance:

 

Joan Crawford in "Dancing Lady", Joan Fontaine in "Damsel In Distress" (however, I don't think they actually danced together in that film), Paulette Goddard in "Second Chorus", and Betty Hutton in "Let's Dance".

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Well, Marsha you got the long and short of it.

 

Dancing lady was Fred Astaire's first appearance on film and Joan Crawford was a big star. She wasn't the greatest dancer but he was thrilled to be in this movie to make cameo appearance so that he could learn a little bit about filmmaking before flying down to Rio. And she treated him with a great deal of respect. So he was really thrilled to dance with her, in that particular case. BUT,Between you and me she's a terrible dancer.

 

In the case of Joan Fontaine in Damsel in distress, it was believed that she wasn't going to dance in this movie at all, to avoid unpleasant comparisons with Ginger Rogers. And she doesn't really dance; she just turns a couple of times and then disappears in the fog, disappears in the middle of the number. So he didn't really expect too much from her anyway.

 

But the last two you're right on. He was very displeased with Paulette Goddard but there wasn't a whole lot he could say because she was Charlie Chaplin's mistress. For that reason and the fact she was very beautiful opened a lot of doors for her. But she didn't have much talent, indeed.

 

Legend has it, that he saved up most of his wrath, in regards to dancing with amateurs for Betty Hutton. She was crying during, before and after most of the numbers. Apparently she was very intimidated by him. I couldn't understand this because I always thought she was a pretty good musical performer. I always liked the movie Let's Dance. I thought Them Dudes was a cute number. But I suppose Betty didn't have a lot of self confidence and his criticisms really floored her.

 

My answer would have been Paulette Goddard and Betty Hutton. But the critics voted for Joan Fontaine. And the public at the box office all voted for Paulette Goddard in second chorus. Because that film had the poorest box office showing of any musical Fred Astaire made. In fact of the 39 movies that he made, second chorus came in 36th and the disastrous the belle of New York came in 35.

 

Moral of story is the greatest dancer in Hollywood didn't want to dance with amatures - - but that's show biz!

 

Marsha, thoroughly answered as usual, it's all yours - -

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Princess,

 

No apologies necessary for any information regarding the one and only Fred Astaire. I adore him and have since I first saw him on my black and white TV dancing with Ginger Rogers in "Top Hat". After that I couldn't wait to see Mr. Astaire in every movie he ever made, every TV show, and any appearance on TV (my favorite being his interview with Dick Cavett) and every article about him. I really do believe that the last words spoken by George Gershwin before he died was "Fred Astaire".

 

Okay I'll give it a good try.

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This actress/dancer/singer/comedienne was known earlier in her career as "the girl next door". She's danced with three of the greatest dancers ever and I think she "danced a little" with the greatest film dancer of all time in a movie which was not a musical.

 

1. Name this actress/dancer/singer/comedienne 2. Name the 3 dancers and the name of the films in which she danced with them. 3. Name the non-musical movie and the name of the greatest dancer of all time in which she "danced" and appeared with him. 

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I'm guessing it's Debbie Reynolds.  She danced with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor in Singin' in the Rain. danced with Donald O'Connor again in I Love Melvin, and she danced with Bob Fosse in Give a Girl a Break.   She might have even danced a little with Gower Champion in the finale, but I haven't seen that movie in quite awhile so I'm not sure.  The movie in which she "danced" with the greatest dance of them all - and that would be Fred Astaire in my opinion - is The Pleasure of His Company.

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Starliteyes - Correct on all counts. My favorite dance number of Debbie's is "He's My Friend" from the movie "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" featuring Grover Dale. Debbie is absolutely wonderful.

 

Great job. It's your thread.

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