Monday, January 28, 2008

Gotta Dance! (Tap, that is!)

Well, yesterday we tapped our troubles away.

Not literally, I fear. But for several delightful hours three of us enjoyed the magic of Busby Berkeley, the colorful glamour of Carmen Miranda, the easy, flawless style of Gene Kelly, the shotgun taps of Ann Miller and the glitzy, downright hilarious spectacle of "The Producers" biggest production sequences! It was our Tap-a-thon -- and there wasn't enough time to enjoy it all, so "Tap Deux" will be coming soon, I think.

We squirmed in our seats, feet moving, as we watched some of the best tap numbers on screen and laughed as we watched Busby Berkeley's color film "The Gang's All Here" with Carmen Miranda doing one of the more phallic numbers of all time (imagine dozens of beautiful girls each holding giant bananas, which they waved about in patterns!). Alice Faye crooned beautiful ballads and led into Busby's Polka Dot Polka, which evolved into something with kalaidoscopic patterns that seemed more like something you'd find in the 60s inspired by way too many magic mushrooms! (You have to wonder what Freud would say about Busby Berkeley.) The plot's nothing to write home about -- but how can you argue with Benny Goodman's music and all those production numbers?

We also watched Berkeley clips from "42nd Street" "Footlight Parade," "Golddiggers of 1933" and more. My favorites? Ruby Keeler's "42nd Street," of course, and "Remember My Forgotten Man" with a poignant Joan Blondell and a massive production number. "Shadow Waltz" was pretty amazing, too.

(Actually, we watched these earlier Berkeley movies after "The Gang" and it was pretty easy to see that he picked his methods and style early and stuck with it for more than a decade.)

Time was running out, so we caught Ann Miller tapping "Prehistoric Man" from "On the Town" and then moved onto "Good Morning" and "Singin' in the Rain" -- no one does it like Gene Kelly! We wrapped up with several glitzy numbers from "The Producers."

(I might add that as we were watching these movies, we were also dining on Jan's artichoke dip, Kate's great corn and bean salsa, Trader Joe pastry puffs, and of course, Junior Mints -- all with wine and fizzy water!)

We never did get to Fred and Ginger, Fred and Cyd, Jimmy Cagney in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and were chastised by several of the men who joined us at dinner later for not including Shirley Temple or Gregory Hines. ("Tap-Deux.")

We later were joined by others who couldn't attend and some men-folk for Italian food at Bravo (or, for those of us who ate our hearts out on appetizers all afternoon, soup!).

So, my question to you -- any tap favorites we should include next time?


Tammy said...

I'm not even hungry having just come from our tea, but your tap spread looks and sounds delish...pass the artichoke dip please...*smile*

Rosa said...

I bet you felt all that tapping this morning (even if it was just foot tapping). How fun!! xoxo

Beth said...

That sounded like a wonderful "toe tapping time." I Love Artichoke dip. I love to watch tap dancers, always wanted to be a tapper when I was little. I do a mean "Buck Dance",,which is like clogging.
Have a wonderful Tuesday, Jeanie!!

paris parfait said...

Oh, how much fun! Wish I'd been there. Love those films!

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