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22 November 2017 @ 02:28 pm
In Praise of Tap Dancing  
Celebrity Death Watch: Ann Wedgeworth won a Tony for her performance in Chapter Two. Malcolm Young was a guitarist who co-founded AC/DC. Lilli Hornig was a scientist on the Manhattan Project and later advocated extensively for women in science. Mel Tillis was a country singer-songwriter. Della Reese was a singer and actress, probably best known for Touched by an Angel. Dmitri Hvorotstovsky was an opera singer.

Charles Manson was a sociopathic monster.

David Cassidy was a pop singer, best known for The Partridge Family. He played a brief role in my teenage crush rotation, in between Bobby Sherman and a changing cycle of boys at school. I had a one-track mind, but a lot of trains ran on it.

Friday Night Lights: There was a dinner at Sixth and I Synagogue for people 50+ who wanted to talk about building community among those in our age group. Since I have kvetched in the past about how many of their programs are identified as being for people in their 20’s and 30’s, I thought it was worth my time to go. It looks like the upshot will be some sort of on-going series of programs. I should also note that one of the other people there was a guy I know from flyertalk. It’s always interesting when different parts of my life intersect.

Crazy For You: On Saturday, I went to see Signature Theatre’s production ofCrazy For You. Since I believe that the Gershwins are the pinnacle of American music, this would seem like a sure-fire afternoon of enjoyment. Except, the book is by Ken Ludwig, who has written a couple of farces I had the misfortune to see. The combination of TheFox on the Fairway and Moon Over Buffalo are a large part of what convinced me that farce is just not my thing. Fortunately, it turns out that Gershwin – plus a lot of tap dancing – can overcome Ken Ludwig. The show is largely based on Girl Crazy with some additional songs (and some removed) and a somewhat modified plotline. The key thing is that there is a fabulous score and excellent choreography. There is even one line of dialogue which was funny despite being in the service of a silly situation involving both drunkenness and mistaken identity.

There are too many great songs to list them all, so let’s settle for just a few:
I Got Rhythm
They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Someone To Watch Over Me
I Can’t Be Bothered Now
Embraceable You
Nice Work If You Can Get It (which is one of my all-time favorite songs.)

As for the performances, Danny Gardner and Ashley Spencer had plenty of tension, mixed with chemistry, as the leads. Then there were several Signature regulars, including Bobby Smith, Maria Rizzo, Natascia Diaz, Sherri L. Edelin, and Thomas Adrian Simpson. I also want to call out A. Ross Neal as Moose.

If you like an old-fashioned musical, you can’t really go wrong seeing this one.

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