A Fun Escape to Song and Dance
Over the weekend I got lost in three musicals to forget for a few hours COVID and Trump’s exhausting hate and ignorance. No matter what the reviews say, every time I see these movies, I find something new about them and love them even more.
Mel Brooks’ masterpiece The Producers starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, with Uma Thurman for sex. I noticed a bit player named “Kiss Mee-Feel Me,” one of the little old ladies who finance Max Bialystock’s flops, was Andrea Martin, aka Aunt Voula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a comedy I love).
This number, “Betrayed,” performed by Lane near the end of the movie, gives a synopsis of the whole show and is as close to a tour-de-force as it gets…
Next I visited Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah. I’d forgotten how good this was. And this time I was surprised to see in the small role of Fred, Roxie Hart’s lover whose murder in the beginning gets the whole story rolling, Dominic West, who later went on to greater things in the series, The Affair, which I highly recommend. Here’s the Chicago finale…
And finally, I went back to 1776. It was released in 1972, the year came to Virginia. I must have seen it after I got here, because a line that’s always stuck with me came in a scene between John and Abigail Adams, discussing how John brought Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha to Philadelphia to help Thomas get his rocks off so he could focus on writing the Declaration of Independence.
Abigail: How do you suppose she managed to get away?
John: Well, the winters are softer in Virginia.
Abigail: And their women, John?
John: Fit for Virginians, but pale, puny things beside New England girls.
Anyway, TCM ran the restored full version and it includes “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men,” a number that was cut at Richard Nixon’s insistence.
If you view no other clip in this post, WATCH THIS. Imagine the performers are Trump’s Senate enablers in wigs and tights, led by Mitch McConnell…