Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Musicals on Tap


Recommended Posts

Hint: this legendary tap dancer appeared in a musical directed by Vincente Minnelli. The lady he toured with was a legendary singer who also appeared in musicals directed by Minnelli.

 

Can you name them and their musicals?

 

(Not hard)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not 100% sure on this one, but here goes. I will guess that the lady is Judy Garland, who was directed by Minnelli in "Meet Me In St.Louis" The tap dancer who toured with her would be John Bubbles. He was directed by Minnelli in "Cabin In the Sky". In the thirties, Bubbles had originated the part of "Sportin' Life" in the Gershwin show "Porgy And Bess" The movie version wasn't made until the late fifties, with the part being played by Sammy Davis Jr. I'm not sure because I don't think Sammy Davis was Oscar nominated for that movie. For those of you not familiar with John Bubbles, here is a clip from "Cabin In The Sky".

 

 

 

He was also said to be one of Fred Astaire's tap dance teachers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Judy opened the Garden in NYC in the 1960's with her children and John Bubbles as the opening act.

 

John Bubbles was the smoothest tap dancer there ever was.

 

Sammy, of course, recreated the role of Sportin' Life on film and should have won the Oscar.

 

FYI--the great Tap Dancer Gregory Hines opened *White Knights* dancing the role of Sportin' Life somewhere in Russia.

 

Miles--for someone who isn't a hoofer--you put down some good Thread "Leather"!

 

I'm going to Shuffle Off To Buffalo and

 

Miles is on--

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. There is a period musical that is similar to those made popular by Twentieth Century Fox, but this one was done by another studio. It is about a husband and wife song and dance team in the days of vaudeville. Their act is going nowhere until they decide to put their young son in the show. The kid is a sensation and they are soon headliners. However, a group of do-gooders has gotten a law passed preventing children from singing and dancing in vaudeville shows, so they try to pretend that their son is really a midget to fool them. This movie is loosely, very loosely, based on the early life of Buster Keaton. In fact, the boy's name is Buster in the movie. Can you name the movie and the stars who played the parents. They were not known for doing a lot of musicals, but they did some, and they were both very versatile performers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's it. It's comforting to know that someone besides myself knows about this musical. Jack Carson and Ann Sothern play Joe and June Tyme, with a boy named Robert Ellis as young Buster Tyme. The father and son are also known as Big Tyme and Small Tyme. There actually was a society formed to protect children called the Gerry Society. Their power went as far as to limit children's involvement in "Immoral" activities like theaters, nickleodeons, and amusement parks. In real life, Buster Keaton's parents did try to pass him off as a midget to fool the Gerries, as they were known. You may remember a child performer named Joan Carroll. She was in "Meet Me In St. Louis" and "The Bells Of Saint Mary's". In the early forties, she was supposed to sing and dance a duet with Ethel Merman in the show "Panama Hattie", but the Gerry society limited her to simply marching to the music. It's your turn now, lavender.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We're going Flash with this question--

 

Hollywood's greatest Flash Act had no taps on their shoes but they competed with and danced with many top tappers--Kind of a soft shoe athleticism.

 

This Flash Act's greatest Golden Era movie number was with a Gershwin song--headlined by one of America's Top Tap Dancers.

 

Hint: This Flash Act appeared in two films starring a B movie actress who did occasional star turns. She was the star of a B movie series and later became a very big TV star with her own TV series in the Golden Age of TV.

 

Edited by: cujas on Dec 15, 2011 2:42 PM

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Cujas, I'm stumped. All I can think of is the Nicholas brothers, who I always assumed did have taps on their shoes. I don't know of them dancing to a Gershwin tune with a top tap dancer. Maybe you are thinking of the number in "Kid Millions" that features George Murphy and Ann Sothern, but the song is "Mandy" which was a big hit for Irving Berlin. Maybe you are thinking of "Be A Clown" with Gene Kelly from "The Pirate", but that was a Cole Porter song, and neither of those numbers was choreographed by Busby Berkeley. I think I need more clues.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Berry Brothers? *Lady Be Good* starred Eleanor Powell that would be your reference to a great tapdancer. The B movie star would be Ann Sothern who also appeared in *Lady Be Good* and *Panama Hattie* with The Berry Brothers. ?????

 

Edited by: lavenderblue19 on Dec 30, 2011 9:39 AM

Link to post
Share on other sites

My dear Lavenderblue19--not only did you get this one right, but you stumped Miles The Great! Bravo!

 

Flash Acts were very popular at one time--Anyone who ever saw The Berry Bros in Ellie's "Fascinating Rhythm" number will never forget them.

 

Lav, I think you're really Hot!

 

Lavenderblue is up next--

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, cujas. If I had a choice between being good at trivia games and knowing how to tap dance, dancing wins hands (feet) down. Funny, *That's Entertainment* was on TCM yesterday and Eleanor Powell did a routine from *Lady Be Good* in the film. She was so amazing, and so were The Berry Bros.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll try this one. I looked up The Berry Brothers and found that they were in a grand total of three movies. This next group was in at least four! This is another specialty dance group, only this time the members were not brothers. They were athletic tap dancers who specialized in dancing on table tops and in other small areas. They appeared in two movies with a band leader and his female vocalist that I mentioned in a recent post in another thread. They also appeared in a musical with a leading Fox star and her then husband. In it they danced to two tunes written by Louie Prima. Their other film was one in which they danced to a song that was sung by The Inkspots. They popularized the sliding form of dancing that was later copied by others. Can you name them?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles--You're doing jazz dance research that would make Marshall Stearns proud of you. Stuff only tap dancers care about.

 

Well, Tip, Tap & Toe are long gone, but their legend lingers on. They appeared in Fox's *You Can't Have Everything*, starring Alice Faye with her then husband Tony Martin. Tony later married Cyd Charisse, proving that you can, indeed, have everything.

 

Miles, do you remember Louie Prima. I saw him many times with his wife, Keeley Smith, on the Sullivan Show.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. it's Tip, Tap, and Toe. They were in two movies with Ozzie And Harriet Nelson, "Honeymoon Lodge" in 1943 and "Hi, Good Looking" in 1944. Earlier they had been in "You Can't Have Everything" with Alice Faye in 1937 and the Abbott and Costello picture "Pardon My Sarong" with The Inkspots in 1942. Here is a clip from that film:

 

 

 

And here is one from "You Can't Have Everything".

 

 

 

Yes, I remember Louie Prima and Keely Smith. They had a memorable recording of "That Old Black Magic". Did you know that Louie Prima composed one of Benny Goodman's biggest hits, "Sing, Sing, Sing With a Swing"? Well, I still can't stump you, cujas, but before you post the next question, tell us, did you ever do a slide step on a table top like Tip, Tap, And Toe?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Miles--It's good to remember the old hoofers. Well, I guess I'm one myself. But remember, I'm a tap dancer, not a flash dancer. My style was similar to Kelly--a classic dance studio tap dancer--and to Powell for the tap turns and pirouettes. But Of course, I couldn't really dance as well, or as fast as those MGM stars.

 

Let's stay with flash! Once when I was in Vegas in the 80's, I met a member of a famous flash act. He was well into his 70's and still doing single wings! His dance troupe appeared many times on Sullivan and in a handful of Golden Era musicals. My favorite one co-starred that exceptional girl, Carmen Miranda.

 

Dancers and movie--Chica boom!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Muddy--The Four Step Bros appeared in only a handful of movies, but we saw them on Sullivan alot.

 

Fox's "Greenwich" was my favorite but they appeared in an A WB musical, "Shine on Harvest Moon" with Sheridan and Carson.

 

Muddy--let's tap on!

Link to post
Share on other sites

In one of his movies, Fred Astaire dances in blackface and gives tribute to two different black tap dancers. The first one was Mr. Bill Bojangles. The other used to give Astaire dancing lessons in the 1920s, and Fred thought he was the finest tap dancer of his generation. He was in many movies from the late 1920s to the 1960s, at one time forming a duo with another dancer/pianist, until he suffered a stroke and died in New York in1986 at 82 years old.

.

Question: What was his name, his stage name, the name of his dancing partner, and the name the pair went by...

 

What was the title of Fred Astaire's tribute dance number and movie it is in?

 

Lastly, what was this tap dancer's connection with Michael Jackson ??....

 

I saw him in an all black movie, and I want people to remember how great this guy was...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Muddy, we had a question about John Bubbles back in December. His real name was John Sublett. He teamed with Ford "Buck" Washington to form the team known as "Buck And Bubbles". Fred Astaire's tribute number is "Bojangles Of Harlem" in the movie "Swing Time". The Michael Jackson connection is, of course, the moonwalk. Bubbles did an early version of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. This dancer backed up Marilyn in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes", and Rosemary Clooney in "White Christmas". He was a chorus boy and specialty dancer in many fifties movies, but he got his big break in the sixties in an award winning musical. He was hot for a while and did a lot of dramatic roles, as well as musical. As he got older he did a lot of dramatic roles on TV shows, including some work on well known soap operas. One of his claims to fame is that he gave Shirley Jones a good-bye kiss in the final episode of "The Partridge Family". He is still with us. Who is he?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...