Sunday, March 18, 2018

It's De-Lovely

Started off a beautiful morning with Anything Goes as I had buttermilk pancakes with dried cranberries for breakfast. The 1963 off-Broadway version of this show was it's first major New York revival. Like all subsequent versions, it adds songs not heard in the original show. "It's De-Lovely" and "Friendship" have been retained for later revivals, but we do get a few gems that turn up in this version alone, notably "Let's Misbehave," "Let's Step Out," and "Take Me Back to Manhattan."

Headed off to work as soon as the record ended. Work was no trouble at all. We were on-and-off busy, but never overwhelmingly so. It did get busy enough for me to help the guys outside with the carts later on. Spent most of the morning bagging and doing returns.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road and Atlantic Avenue. It was too nice not to! The sun was out, the sky was bright blue and cloudless, and while it remained windy, it didn't feel quite as cold as it has for the past few weeks. In fact, I took an even longer route down Kendall Boulevard, past Rose's house and back around West Clinton to Manor, just to enjoy the day (and avoid traffic on Atlantic from the Nicholson Road bridge repairs).

When I got in, I changed, then pulled down the St. Patrick's Day decorations and put up what I have for Easter. A few items went in different places this year. The smaller DVD player freed up room on that shelf for my big resin statue Patchy Bunny. A big wicker basket of plastic eggs (that used to be my Easter basket as a kid) is now on the coffee table in the music area where Patchy used to go. The cute little porcelain girl bunny in the purple dress is in front of the CD player; the porcelain bunny candy holder is between the TV and cassette player.

Ran The Music of Spring as I put the St. Patrick's Day decorations away. This Columbia Special Products LP release from the early 60's features songs performed by vocalists and orchestras of the day that were either related to spring ("April In Paris," "Younger Than Springtime"), or more likely were just popular at that point ("Camelot," "Never on a Sunday," "I Could Have Danced All Night.")

Since I did a show with Cole Porter music this morning, I thought I'd try another after Music of Spring ended. High Society was a musical version of the film and play The Philadelphia Story, with Bing Crosby a singer hoping to win back his frigid socialite wife (Grace Kelly). Celeste Holm and Frank Sinatra are the reporters looking for a good story. While the ballad "True Love," performed by Crosby and Kelly, is probably the best-known number from this movie, I like the comic songs better. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" is a fun ditty for Sinatra and Holm as they admire the wedding gifts, and Sinatra and Crosby have a blast at a party with "Well, Did You Evah?"

Did some writing for the next few hours. Han shows up at the stream after having washed the grime off. He's a bit surprised to see Luke, to say the least. Luke and Leia explain what happened and why he hadn't seen the boy before. Obi-Wan calls them to dinner, where they discuss their next move. They're going to pass through Scarif, a lawless seaside town, to pick up supplies and see if they can find out more about Han's identity and what, exactly, he did to end up in a high-security prison.

Didn't break for dinner until 7. Ate leftover chicken stew while playing Lego Star Wars. Finished up "Escape from Naboo" and "Into the Death Star," pieces and True Jedi. Got all the pieces on "Ruin of the Jedi," but not True Jedi.

Finished the night with two more Cole Porter shows. Kiss Me Kate was his major comeback after hitting a slump in the early and mid 40's. Stage stars Patricia Morrison and Alfred Drake headline this 1948 retelling of The Taming of the Shrew as a backstage musical about a bickering husband and wife team on the verge of divorce. He'd do anything to keep her in the show...including claiming two IOUs written by a dancer are his, so the gangsters who came to claim them will stick around. This version includes the dynamic opening number "Another Openin', Another Show" that didn't make it into the film. (Revivals usually include the uptempo ballad "From This Moment On," which was added to the film version.)

Can-Can debuted in 1953. All though it did well enough at the time and the movie version isn't bad, this tale of a can-can dancer who tries to bribe a virtuous judge to keep her dance hall open, then falls for him, is far from Porter's best show. The cast album does feature a few gems, including "I Love Paris," "It's All Right With Me," "C'est Magnifique," and the duet "If You Loved Me Truly" for a hilarious Hans Conried and Gwen Verdon. (The latter won a Best Supporting Actress Tony for only her second starring role in a Broadway show.)

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