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Musicals on Tap


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Let me see if anybody's heard of this plot before--

 

A young tap dancer is the understudy for a star who is nasty and pigheaded and egotistical--

 

The young understudy has a very nice young supporter, a young man who also may be in love with her.

 

Something unforeseen happens to the female star of the show.

 

The young understudy has to take over at the last minute and is understandably a little nervous.

 

But her boyfriend supporter gives her a lot of support.

 

Overnight she becomes a star.

 

If you can think of one classic movie with this plot, I bet you can think of several - -

 

Please answer this with at least 2 movies and 2 tap dancers, who could ask for anything more? But more will win you a trip to Disney World, if you want to pay for it--

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The two that immediately came to mind were 42nd Street and Born to Dance.  In 42nd Street,  Ruby Keeler is Bebe Daniel's understudy and Dick Powell is the nice young man who is supportive.  In Born to Dance, Eleanor Powell is Virginia Grey's understudy and the nice young supportive man in played by James Stewart.

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The two that immediately came to mind were 42nd Street and Born to Dance. In 42nd Street, Ruby Keeler is Bebe Daniel's understudy and Dick Powell is the nice young man who is supportive. In Born to Dance, Eleanor Powell is Virginia Grey's understudy and the nice young supportive man in played by James Stewart.

It is amazing that MGM got away with masking the 42nd Street plot and giving it to their tap dancer Eleanor Powell.

 

By the way the nasty Star in Born to Dance is MGM's Virginia Bruce.

 

Understandably you got her mixed up with Clark Gable's girlfriend and MGM Starlet Virginia Grey.

 

Believe it or not there's a Virginia Gregg and that completely confuses me.LOL

 

One time they were both on Perry Mason at the same time and I really freaked out. Speaking of Gable and Perry Mason - - I saw Judy Lewis on a Perry Mason a while back and immediately she looked familiar to me and I had no idea why until the credits.

 

Star turn--

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By the way the nasty Star in Born to Dance is MGM's Virginia Bruce.

 

 

Of course it was!  I feel so stupid because I've seen that movie numerous times.  Oh, well, a momentary lapse of memory I guess.

 

Next:

 

For a number in this musical, it was decided that one of the dancers should do the routine that she had auditioned with and so she spent the first day on the set teaching the number to her partner.  Name the two performers and the movie. 

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This performer danced in the musicals despite a spinal birth defect which caused his legs to be uneven.

 

 

Though he did well in the musicals, he later went on to be a dramatic star of some note, in movies and on television.

 

 

Can you identify him with at least one musical role, dramatic role and some of his television work?

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Could it be Buddy Ebsen?  i don't know about the spinal defect, but the rest of the clues certainly fit him.  He danced with his sister Vilma and Eleanor Powell in "Broadway Melody Of 1936".  He did a dramatic turn as Audrey Hepburn's husband, Doc Golightly, in "Breakfast At Tiffanys", and he was well known to TV audiences for the long running shows "The Beverly Hillbillies", and "Barnaby Jones".

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Could it be Buddy Ebsen? i don't know about the spinal defect, but the rest of the clues certainly fit him. He danced with his sister Vilma and Eleanor Powell in "Broadway Melody Of 1936". He did a dramatic turn as Audrey Hepburn's husband, Doc Golightly, in "Breakfast At Tiffanys", and he was well known to TV audiences for the long running shows "The Beverly Hillbillies", and "Barnaby Jones".

Miles--

 

Wee doggies-- I always liked Buddy Ebsen's eccentric dancing - - but it wasn't caused by a spinal defect.

 

Hint#2--The performer in my question was married to the sister of a famous movie star.

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Would it be Ricardo Montalban, who was married to Loretta Young's sister Georgiana?  The first thing I always think of musically with him is the dance he did with Cyd Charisse and Ann Miller in Fiesta.  A dramatic role would be in Across the Wide Missouri in which he played an Indian and which was recently shown on TCM.  On television, he starred in the series Fantasy Island from 1977 to 1984.

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Would it be Ricardo Montalban, who was married to Loretta Young's sister Georgiana? The first thing I always think of musically with him is the dance he did with Cyd Charisse and Ann Miller in Fiesta. A dramatic role would be in Across the Wide Missouri in which he played an Indian and which was recently shown on TCM. On television, he starred in the series Fantasy Island from 1977 to 1984.

Star-- I think you got everything on here Plus-- Ricardo took a bad fall in Across the Wide Missouri which aggravated his condition. This eventually led to him being confined to a wheelchair in old age.

 

In addition to everything that you mentioned at MGM and on television, this guy was part of the Star Trek Legend as Khan-- Star Trek 2: the Wrath of Khan. Ricardo had created this role in the original TV series.

 

Well, Star, have you had a chance to take it easy in your "Corinthian Leather" seat? Now for the Star turn--

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A female singer who was usually associated with westerns, appeared in a non-western in the "Blondie" movie series, singing with a band where Dagwood was the drummer.  Can you name the singer, the movie, and one of the songs she sang?  

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Yes, It's the very lovely and talented Ruth Terry, who was probably better known for singing in westerns with Roy Rogers and Gene Autry at Republic Studios.  In this clip, you will see that Arthur Lake really could play drums.  Future Sky King TV star Kirby Grant plays the band leader.  You also may recognize the guitar player.  He played Helen Morgan's pianist in the 1936 version of "Show Boat" that was just shown last night.  That's Harry Baris, who started out as one of "The Rhythm Boys" with Bing Crosby.

 

 

 

Nice work, Azure.  You get the thread.

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Thanks, Miles.

 

 

Next:  In two different 1950s musicals, the lead actor performed a dance number while wearing roller skates.  The two actor-dancers had previously appeared in the same musical.  Please name the 2 musical films, the 2 actor-dancers, the 2 songs that they skate-danced to and the musical that they both appeared in. 

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Donald O'Connor danced on roller skates to Life Has Its Funny Little Ups and Downs in I Love Melvin, and Gene Kelly danced on roller skates to I Like Myself in It's Always Fair Weather.  And of course, as everyone knows, the two of them appeared together in Singin' in the Rain.

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