Archive for October 24th, 2011

by John Greco

New York! New York! It’s a wonderful town!

The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down

The people ride in a hole in the ground

New York! New York! It’s a wonderful town!

And with these words “On the Town” gets off to a rousing start gliding us through a montage of three sailors on a one day pass seeing the sights of the city, New York City. The Brooklyn Bridge, the Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center. It’s a world wind tour, a sparkling pioneering opening and possibly an early inspiration on music videos. Based on the 1944 hit Broadway musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The book, also by Comden and Green, was based on an idea for a ballet called “Fancy Free,” by Jerome Robbins who choreographed the stage production. In 1949, MGM brought the musical to the screen and of course had to change things including dropping most of the original songs and adding new ones (Bernstein’s music was considered too highbrow for movie audiences), this despite the fact that MGM was an investor in the stage production! Only four songs survived and, of those, the opening number had to be “toned down” (the line New York, New York, It’s a hella of town was change to read it’s a wonderful town) to appease the censors and blue noses. Additionally, the storyline was changed, enlarging and focusing more on Gabey (Gene Kelly) and Ivy (Vera Ellen) than Ozzie (Jules Munshin) and Claire (Ann Miller). (more…)

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World Class Soprano Dame Emma Kirkby and Lutist Jacob Lindberg

by Sam Juliano

The creme of the crop of the musical countdown will be featured over the next two weeks as we move towards this spectacular project’s glorious conclusion.  Tons of comments and site hits are following each new post, and just this past week three posts attracted incredible attention.  The thread under The Sound of Music landed over 200 comments in one of the site’s top posts to this date.  Similarly both Jon Warner’s A Star is Born and the Oliver! post were exceedingly popular to the respondants.  But virtaully every review has been well-attended, and as always Jamie Uhler’s ongoing “Getting Over the Beatles” series continues toi amaze in its prose brilliance.  Joel Bocko has been turning on the gas, and this past week saw the latest exemplary essay in his Sunday “Fixing a Hole” series, as well as a delightful video post based on a poster of indellible film images.  And trudging away day in and day in the resilient Dee Dee with her tenacious sidebar updates for the musical countdown.  Bob Clark’s Saturday anime series always continues with high-quality entries.

Down at the offices of Catholic University in Chile the hardest of workers, Jaime Grijalba, is winding down his Halloween horror film series, which is updated everyday at the halls of Exodus 8:2.  The latest run of films has included Hammer Dracula entries and several in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.  It’s definitely the place to be for horror fans as Halloween approaches. (more…)

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