Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday Dance Party: Thoroughly Modern Moore

The star of this first Dance Party of 2010 turned 73 years old this week.

It's difficult to think of Mary Tyler Moore as anything other than the hugely successful sitcom star of the 60s and 70s, but she actually began her career as a dancer. In the years between her first big success, The Dick van Dyke Show, and her self-titled sitcom, she appeared in one of my guilty secrets. The secret is, I really love Thoroughly Modern Millie, though it has so many flaws it is often dismissed today. The 1967 film was headlined by Julie Andrews (a previous Dance Party star) and featured the final film performance of comedic legend Beatrice Lillie. MTM acquits herself well in a one-note role, and, along with Andrews, does some nice hoofing in the following sequence, set to Elmer Bernstein's Oscar-winning score. If you've never seen Thoroughly Modern Millie, and have an afternoon to kill, rent it to enjoy Bea Lillie's dryly delicious performance, and to see Broadway superstar Carol Channing deliver a film performance which gives an indication of that star's eccentric, endearing talents (Channing was nominated for the Oscar for her supporting role).

Happy New Year!