Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Dance Party: Bianca Gets Wooed

Let's get back to actual dancing on the Friday Dance Party!  Who better to get us back in the swing than one of Hollywood's most famous hoofers?  Ann Miller has appeared before on the Dance Party, go here to see her hilarious (and as it turned out, trend-setting) commercial for soup.  This week, though, we get the full Miller treatment, complete with glamorous gams, unrelenting smile, and those feet that wouldn't quit.

Miller's hilarious parody of herself in this soup commercial was an early example of a film star appearing on-camera hawking a product.  Go here for the routine.

It's not by coincidence that this week's clip is from Kiss Me, Kate.  That film appeared only a few weeks ago in these pages, on the day I began rehearsal for a production of The Taming of the Shrew
As almost everyone knows, "Shrew", or rather, a musical production of it, forms the premise of "Kate."  And the two shows are practically twins, you can hardly tell them apart.  This scene is a prime example.  Cole Porter has lifted Shakespeare's text word-for-word, and other than setting it to music, has left the words of the immortal Bard alone. 
Lenny knows when to leave things alone. His
staging of this scene is a carbon copy of the film's.

Taking that cue, our director of Shrew, the lovely and talented Lenny Banovez, has staged the Bianca wooing scene exactly as in the musical.  I'm playing Gremio in our production, and here in the film, that character is the first of the suitors to sing (it's Bob Fosse playing the role, what a career he could have had...).

You can hardly tell this pic is NOT from our production, the similarities are so striking.
You can get more info on our production here.
Yes, I know I'm giving away a lot of the surprise of our Taming of the Shrew by revealing this clip.  Tonight is our opening night, and as I've only recently opened my New York Branch, I couldn't ask for a better way to make my NYC debut.  As I said, this is exactly how we are playing this scene: